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Saturday, July 24, 2021

    Diversity Service Center of Iowa Celebrating 20th Anniversary

    Diversity Service Center of Iowahttps://sites.google.com/site/diversityservicecenterofiowa/
    ducational Outreach Program Our organization's focus on immigration legal services grew out of the significant need in the community. As the immigration population in Muscatine and surrounding areas increased, so did the need for social and immigration service. In 1992, a Latino community leader started a program to break the barriers of communication by providing translation and interpretation services to the immigrant community. In 1994, Rosa Mendoza took over her position and during this time the advisory committee of the program suggested that Rosa obtain adequate training to start addressing immigration issues. The first course of action was for Rosa to have a mentor to help guide her through immigration training. Rosa was able to obtain guidance and immigration handbooks from an immigration attorney at the Catholic Charities of New York. Since then, Rosa has received immigration training on an annual basis and is accredited by the US Department of Justice to assist the public on immigration issues. The Diversity Service Center of Iowa was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in 2001 with Rosa Mendoza as its Executive Director. ​ Senior Program In 1997 our local Area Agency on Aging contacted Rosa Mendoza, who was then the coordinator of the Multi-Cultural Center at MCSA (Muscatine Center for Strategic Action). This contact offered the Multi-Cultural Center the opportunity to serve the local Spanish speaking senior citizens of our community through a mealsite. It was then that a monthly mealsite was furnished to serve the need of the minority seniors. In March 2001 when Rosa saw a need for expansion, the Senior Program was continued through the Diversity Service Center of Iowa. As the population of minority senior citizens continued to grow in the Muscatine area, so did the need to provide social services. Fortunately our meal site has grown into what is now known as the Senior Program.

    Muscatine Living

    Muscatine, Iowa: The Diversity Service Center of Iowa (DSCI) is proud to announce its 20th Anniversary.  DSCI opened its doors to the public in downtown Muscatine on March 1, 2001. While DSCI’s location has changed throughout the years, the mission has remained the same: to assist families with their immigration process and advocate for senior citizens ages 60+.   

    Individuals obtaining immigration documentation plays a vital role in community contribution. “Once an individual receives their immigration document, they are able to apply for a social security card, driver’s license, obtain employment, open bank account, continue secondary education, apply for personal/mortgage/auto loans, obtain health/vision/dental insurance through employment, apply for car/house insurances and file income taxes,” explains Rosa Mendoza, DSCI Founder and Executive Director.  

    DSCI’s accomplishments over the past 20 years include: 

    •Assisting over 4,000 different families with their immigration issues. 

    •Serving an annual average of 70 to 80 senior citizens ages 60+ for additional benefits that help improve their standards of living. 

    •Organizing numerous community events to celebrate Muscatine’s unique diversity. 

    •Educating companies and the community on topics related to immigration and diversity. 

    In 2020, DSCI accepted over 250 new immigration cases, and celebrated the approval of 130 existing cases. DSCI currently represents clients from 20 different countries, impacting the lives of hundreds of parents and children. 70 senior citizens ages 60+ (many of whom only speak Spanish) were assisted through case management.  DSCI’s immigration staff, as well as the organization itself, are accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice to assist individuals through advising and form preparation.  

    “As I think of our 20 years of service and accomplishments, I think of the economic impact we have made in individuals/families lives. And I am also reminded of all the donors who have put their trust in us and have helped form who we are today. For this, I am forever grateful to each one of you,” reflects Mendoza.  

    For more information on DSCI, or to donate to help continue the organization’s mission, please visit DSCI’s website: www.dscionline.org, or call 563-264-8883 and speak with Rosa Mendoza. 

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