Mimo Boulefrakh: November 2011
Mimo Boulefrakh has been a member of the Volunteer Corps since 2011 and is originally from France.:
Q. Why did you choose to volunteer with CUNY Citizenship Now?
A. "Since I have recently gone through the United States citizenship application process, which can be complex and time-consuming, I thought that sharing my personal experience and knowledge would be beneficial to permanent residents seeking assistance on their path to citizenship. CUNY Citizenship Now! has given me the chance to meet people from different backgrounds and discover new areas across the five New York City boroughs. I find that CUNY Citizenship Now! is very appreciative of volunteers’ time and assistance. The staff is friendly, dedicated, and well-organized."
Q. What’s one of your most memorable moments as a volunteer with Citizenship Now?
A. "I will never forget the event held in Staten Island on October 29th, 2011. The city was astonishingly hit by a snow storm. Despite the poor weather conditions, many volunteers and permanent residents participated in the event. It was a fun experience and I made wonderful friends on my way back to Manhattan."
Q. Has your knowledge of immigration law improved because of the time you have spent volunteering with us? What have you learned?
A. "My wish has always been to live in New York City. As a result, I have done a lot of research on U.S. immigration laws for the past several years - especially on how to apply for a permanent residence card and on how to apply for United States citizenship. Since I joined CUNY Citizenship Now! as a volunteer, I have helped many permanent residents complete the N-400 form. Cases are different and some are more complicated than others. I have certainly learned much from CUNY Citizenship Now! employees and volunteers."
Q. In what ways has volunteering with Citizenship Now! impacted you personally?
A. "I am going through a career transition phase at the moment. I worked in the private sector for several years and volunteering for CUNY Citizenship Now! has confirmed my interest in working in public service. Assisting people gives me a sense of personal satisfaction. As a volunteer, I feel that I make a positive difference in people’s lives and in how they feel in American society."
Q. What is your favorite part about our Saturday events?
A. "Participating in Saturday events gives me the opportunity to assist residents from a variety of backgrounds and meet other volunteer corps members."
Q. What do you do when you are not volunteering?
A. "I am between jobs at the moment and I try to keep up-to-date with domestic and global political and economic news. To stay healthy I go to the gym on a regular basis."
Q. What is your favorite hobby?
A. "I have always enjoyed traveling and learning about different cultures."
Q. If you're not from NYC, where are you from originally? Please share your story with us.
A. "I was born in Normandy, France and lived in Lorraine, France for many years. I came to New York for the first time to do an internship as part of a Master’s in International Business and Applied Foreign Languages. New Yorkers’ energy and good values touched me. The city has so much to offer in terms of art, culture, shopping, dining, and entertainment. At that time, I was unable to have my visa extended. I was offered a position in London, where I lived until I received a United States permanent residence visa. I applied for citizenship four months ago and am now a proud United States citizen!"