Lyson Bazile: May 2012

Volunteer with citizenship now

Lyson Bazile An interview with Lyson Bazile, Citizenship Now! Volunteer Corps member since 2009.

Q.  Tell us about yourself--do either you or a family member have a personal immigration story?
"[My friend] Flo came to New York at the age of five illegally and had to be sent back to Haiti years later. She went back to a world she did not know, a world of abject poverty. Although I sent her money she still longed to return to the United States. At the age of 25 she met a gentleman who had gone on vacation to Haiti. They have now been married for ten years and Flo is now an American citizen."

Q.  What do you enjoy most about our Saturday events?
"The people I work with. The knowledge I gain. I look forward to every event. I simply love it."

Q.  Why do you volunteer with the CUNY Citizenship Now! Volunteer Corps?
  "I believe in immigration. I strongly believe in what CUNY Citizenship Now! is trying to accomplish. A diversified society is a rich society and the CUNY Citizenship Now! program is helping to achieve that. I feel great joy and satisfaction every time that I help someone apply for citizenship. I think that I am happier than they are."

Q. What are you looking forward to at the next event?
"I am looking forward to making our next event a complete success, to make 500 individuals American citizens. I am looking forward to working with the great staff at CUNY Citizenship Now! They are so devoted."

Q.  Has your knowledge of immigration law improved because of the time you have spent volunteering with us? What have you learned?  
"I have learned a great deal. I feel like an "expert" now when filling out both the N-400 and Haitian TPS applications."

Q.  Outside of work and volunteering, tell us about some special hobbies or interests that you have?
"I am fluent in English, French, Haitian Creole as well as conversational in Spanish. I am a global traveler interested in cultural diversity, the arts, music, helping people and spirituality."

Member of the National Association of Professional Women, NAPW
President of the Jamaica, Queens Local Chapter
Mentor for the Panim el Panim Life-Skills Empowerment Program