Sanya Paul: June 2013
Q. Tell us about yourself--do either you or a family member have a personal immigration story?
A. "I am a citizen of the United States. Both my son and I became citizens about two years ago. I remember making trips to the CUNY offices asking for advice. I was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and came to the United States in 2002. As for my mother, after waiting almost 17 years she recently received her green card. I am so happy for her and I can’t wait for her to become a U.S. citizen after all these years."
Q. How many times have you volunteered at our events? And what makes you keep coming back?
A. "I have volunteered numerous times that I have lost count. The reason I keep coming back is because it is something I am passionate about and, being an immigrant, I know what it is like to want to achieve the "American Dream". I want to help out in any way I can so that someone else can achieve this dream."
Q. What’s one of your most memorable moments as a volunteer with Citizenship Now? And why?
A. "My most memorable moment is volunteering for the first time with Citizenship Now! There were so many people at the event that I just felt humbled and knew what they all wanted to achieve. I knew some of the people didn’t have the funds to hire a private lawyer to complete their N-400 form and/or were afraid to attempt it for themselves, because they did not want to make a mistake on their forms. I was just happy to be a part of this group and that day has kept me coming back. "
Q. Why do you volunteer with the NYC/CUNY Citizenship Now! Volunteer Corps?
A. "I volunteer with CUNY Citizenship Now! because they helped me and gave me advice when I needed it and they are just as passionate as I am about helping people become American citizens."
Q. What is your favorite borough to volunteer at? And why?
A. "I love Manhattan because after the event ends, I usually walk around the city until I am ready to go home. It’s just a different feel."
Q. What are you looking forward to at the next event?
A. "To help even more and see the smile on people’s faces when their package is complete. It is a good feeling when they leave the event with that envelope and are told to go to the post office to mail their application."
Q. Outside of work and volunteering, tell us about some special hobbies or interests that you have?
A. "I enjoy music, reading, meeting new people and also watching my son play basketball."
Q. What is your favorite section of the volunteer newsletter “Citizenship Now! Monthly” and/or volunteer website?
A. "My favorite section is the volunteer of the month section. I enjoy reading other volunteers stories and their journey on how they got to the point in their life where they are now."
Q. In what way(s) has volunteering with Citizenship Now! impacted you personally?
A. "Volunteering with Citizenship Now has impacted me in ways that I can't always express. It’s a feeling of satisfaction that I am able to give back and be a part of a group that knows and understands what it feels like to be an immigrant wanting to move to the next phase."
Q. Has your knowledge of immigration law improved because of the time you have spent volunteering with us? What have you learned?
A. "Yes, my knowledge has definitely improved. I find myself keeping up with the current news about immigration laws and I learned the different steps that are involved in becoming a citizen."