Why I Work at LSS – Center for New Americans

This week on the blog, we are featuring our agency employees and letting you know why they work at LSS. We hope you enjoy learning more about the wonderful and dedicated staff!  If you would like to join us, check out the LSS employment opportunities here.

Today I’ll feature one staff member from a small part of our Center for New Americans—our immigration department! Janice Godtland began her life as an immigration attorney at LSS in 1998.  Since day one she has been helping refugees and immigrants with becoming permanent residents and U.S. citizens, as well as helping others replace lost or stolen documents.

What made you choose LSS?

“After I moved to Sioux Falls, I ran into Barbara Day, a former director of the refugee and immigration programs. She encouraged me to apply, as a new grant allowed LSS to hire a full time attorney to aid with the process of citizenship.  I thought it would be a great change of pace from my previous role in the Attorney General’s office.”

What’s your favorite part of working here?

“I love when things turn out well and I see our clients succeed in their new life. When I help people bring in family members, I always ask the family to bring the loved ones in to meet me. It is so fun to put actual faces to the names with which I have become familiar.”

What’s the hardest?

“Well the deadlines for paperwork can be rough, but the hardest probably is having to tell someone that their loved one will not be able to come and that unless they travel back home they may never see their loved one again.”

Finally, if you could tell someone just one thing about your work, what would it be?

“I guess that it would be that while working with refugees and immigrants can be challenging at times, it is NEVER boring and ALWAYS rewarding.”

Thank you Janice and everyone else in the immigration department for all your hard work! I hope you liked this snapshot of immigration.  If you’d like to join Janice & the rest of us in helping refugees and immigrants, become a volunteer!  Sign up here.


Kristyne Walth, Volunteer Coordinator

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