Volunteer of the Month

Volunteer with citizenship now

Each month we will highlight one of our outstanding volunteers. Below you will find the current Volunteer of the Month as well as a list of volunteers who we have profiled in the past. Click on the photos to read more about them.



Dina Mocan Dina Mocan: Volunteer Corps Member

Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you or a family member have a personal immigration story?
A: "I was born and raised by my wonderful parents in Moldova. Before moving to the United States, I worked as an attorney for the American Bar Association/Rule of Law Initiative in Moldova, where I proudly promoted rule of law programs for lawyers and judges.

I came to the United States five years ago to pursue a Master of Law Program at Northwestern University, School of Law, in Chicago. The day before I left home, I received a letter stating that I had won the Green Card lottery for permanent residency in the United States. After I graduated from Northwestern I worked at the International Republican Institute in Washington D.C., where I managed democratic themed programs.

In most cases, the transition process for immigrants from one country to another is challenging. I was very fortunate to meet an American family that guided me through the process, offering their unconditional love and advice. As a sign of continuous gratitude and respect for what they have done for me, I try to give back as much as I can by helping others."

Q: How many times have you volunteered at our events? And what makes you keep coming back?
A: "I have been volunteering with CUNY Citizenship Now! since November of 2014. I keep coming back because I know that the process of filling out the application for naturalization is often difficult and I am happy to use my legal knowledge to help others on the path to citizenship."

Q: What is your favorite borough to volunteer in? And why?
A: "Brooklyn. I like to volunteer in any borough outside Manhattan. It provides me with the opportunity to learn about other communities, as I moved to New York not too long ago."

Q: Why do you volunteer with the NYC/CUNY Citizenship Now! Volunteer Corps?
A: "As a requirement for admission to practice law in New York State, as well as to expand access to justice for low-income New Yorkers, prospective lawyers are required to provide pro-bono services. CUNY Citizenship Now! is one of many organizations that provides pro bono opportunities. It was my first choice for my pro bono work because I am also an immigrant. I am happy to use my legal skills and knowledge to empower other immigrants who need guidance in their citizenship application process."

Q: In what way(s) has volunteering with Citizenship Now! impacted you personally?
A: "In assisting immigrants from many countries around the world, I have come to appreciate how fortunate we all are to live in this country. Many people must overcome great obstacles in their home countries in order to look for a better life here in the United States."

Q: Has your knowledge of immigration law improved because of the time you have spent volunteering with us? What have you learned?
A: "Since volunteering with CUNY Citizenship Now!, my knowledge of immigration law has improved. Helping applicants complete their N-400 forms has provided me with hands-on experience. I have also attended a Citizenship Now! application assistance training during which I learned many practical aspects relating to immigration law."

Q: What’s one of your most memorable moments as a volunteer with Citizenship Now? And why?
A: "A participant came to one of the CUNY Citizenship Now! events in Brooklyn. She was desperately looking for assistance in re-submitting her application for U.S. citizenship because her application had previously been denied. This was because the application had been submitted without appropriate guidance and was therefore incomplete. This time around, I assisted her with correctly filling out her N-400 citizenship application form. She was relieved and very happy with the qualified legal assistance."

Q: Outside of work and volunteering, tell us about some special hobbies or interests that you have.
A: "I like spending time with my family, going for walks in the park, as well as going to museums, the botanical garden and the opera. I also enjoy reading and listening to classical music in my spare time."

Volunteer Profiles

Mohammad Akram

Mohammad Akram
March 2015

Elizabeth Burgos

Elizabeth Burgos
February 2015

Luis Velez

Luis Velez
January 2015

2014 Volunteer Profiles >>

Volunteer Profiles

Ana Ronzel

Ana Ronzel
December 2014

Xiomara and Lucy

Xiomara Mena and Lucy Cristancho
November 2014

Luc Raymond

Luc Raymond
October 2014

Noreen Noel

Noreen Noel
September 2014

Roman Yushuva

Roman Yushuva
August 2014

James Howard

James Howard
July 2014

Kathleen Tonkovich

Kathleen Tonkovich
June 2014

Olu Ajayi

Olu Ajayi
May 2014

Geovanni Gutierrez

Geovanni Gutierrez 
March 2014

Sonia Mills

Sonia Mills 
February 2014

Ann Marie McNamee

Ann Marie McNamee 
January 2014


2013 Volunteer Profiles >>

Shaunee Morgan

Shaunee Morgan
December 2013

Rafael Tassy

Rafael Tassy
November 2013

Camissa Celestin

Camissa Celestin
October 2013

Melina Lito

Melina Lito
September 2013

Angela Cooper

Angela Cooper
August 2013

Aydee Joya

Aydee Joya
July 2013

Sanya Paul

Sanya Paul
June 2013

Sainslot Belizaire

Sainslot Belizaire
May 2013

Bosondo Braun

Bosondo Braun
April 2013

Tomas Escotto

Tomas Escotto
March 2013

Jesus Guzman

Jesus Guzman
February 2013

Nubia Espana

Nubia Espana
January 2013

2012 Volunteer Profiles >>

Fanny Lauby

Fanny Lauby
December 2012

Celeste Tejeda

Celeste Tejeda
November 2012

Dea Shkupi

Dea Shkupi
October 2012

Darrion Maye

Darrion Maye
September 2012

Ana Davila

Ana Davila
August 2012

Camilo Aparicio

Camilo Aparicio
July 2012

Yiu Fai Chu

Yiu Fai Chu
June 2012

Lyson Bazile

Lyson Bazile
May 2012

Elizabeth Aviles

Elizabeth Aviles
April 2012

Diana Arreaga

Diana Arreaga
March 2012

Carla Rabinowitz

Carla Rabinowitz
February 2012

Johanna Bonny

Johanna Bonny
January 2012

2011 Volunteer Profiles >>

Karin Wolman

Karin Wolman
December 2011

Mimo

Mimo Boulefrekh
November 2011

Karl Gluck

Karl Gluck
October 2011

Bashkim Musabelliu

Bashkim Musabelliu
September 2011

Mabel Bajer

Mabel Bejar
August 2011
Currently Staff Member at Citizenship Now!

Thomas Marsh

Thomas Marsh
July 2011

Cezanne Jones

Cezanne Lyte
June 2011

venus

Venus Bernudez
May 2011

jorge

Jorge Rodriguez
April 2011