Bashkim Musabelliu: September 2011

Volunteer with citizenship now

Bashkim Musabelliu Bashkim Musabelliu tells us about the challenges he has overcome as an immigrant and why he volunteers at CUNY Citizenship Now!:

Q.  Why did you choose to volunteer with CUNY Citizenship Now?
A.  "I like to help people become citizens of America."

Q. Why did you want to immigrate to the United States?
A.  "I came here from Albania as a [Diversity Visa] lottery winner. I was looking for a better life, and I thought America would be the best choice after hearing so much about it."

Q.  What types of challenges did you face as an immigrant?  
"I had problems with my English comprehension and with the language itself, and also with acquiring my citizenship documents."

Q.  Has volunteering with CUNY Citizenship Now! made an impact on you personally?
"Volunteering with CUNY Citizenship Now! has given me more hands-on experience in helping immigrants with their immigration-related problems."

Q.  Tell us about your neighborhood in New York. Where do you live and what do you like about it?
"I live in a neighborhood in Ridgewood where there's peace and prosperity. My street is called Harman Street. I like Harman Street because there's peace, each neighbor respects one another, there isn't any shady action with narcotics or crime, and I feel comfortable. I can relate to my neighbors since they're also from foreign countries, and they were also immigrants like me once."

Q.  What did you study when you were in school?
"I studied history and geography, and I went to law school."

Q.  What does community mean for you?
A.  "A community is made up of people who live in an area united with harmony and respect, and who help each other and abide by the law."

Q.  Outside of work and volunteering, tell us about some special hobbies or interests that you have?
A.  "I like sports, music, reading books, watching movies, caring for flowers, and working in the community."