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.



Noreen Noel Noreen Noel: Volunteer Corps

Our Communications and College Relations Specialist, Sofia Carreno sat down with Noreen at our June 7th Brooklyn event to hear her story and her thoughts on being part of our Volunteer Corps.


Sofia.  Can you please tell us your name and your occupation?
Noreen.  "My name is Noreen Noel, I’m working for Mount Sinai Sexual Assault department for the last seven years."

S. What do you do there?
N.  "I’m an intake coordinator. I schedule counseling for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, inter partner violence, incest."

S. When did you start volunteering with Citizenship Now!?
N.  "I started November 2009."

S. So I guess you have come to volunteer many times right? How many times?
N.  "I lost count!"

S. Noreen what station are you volunteering at today?
N.  " I am volunteering at the application assistance station."

S. When you started, did you start at application assistance or did you start somewhere else?
N.  "No, I started at application assistance. I also do fee waiver and set up and breakdown."

S. Why are you here on a Saturday morning? What makes you come and leave whatever obligations you have at home and decide to come on a Saturday to help people apply for citizenship?
N.  "Well, I think it’s something interesting and I’ve always liked helping people. I am a paralegal and I was looking to volunteer […] and I think this was the best fit for me."

S. So you’re saying you are a paralegal, where did you go to school?
N.  "At Brooklyn College. I finished in 2002."

S. In the five years that you have been volunteering, what would you say you have learned?
N.  "I learn a lot concerning people’s needs. I learned that people who get arrested need to go to court and get a disposition letter. I learned a lot about people who get their green cards in special ways besides marriage and through parents. Also, that people who came illegally into the country, need to show different things. Everytime you do an application you learn something different."

S. Have you volunteered at our Call-in as well?
N.  "Just at application assistance events, both citizenship and TPS."

S. What do you think is the most enjoyable thing at our events?
N.  "Seeing at the end of the application that somebody was successful today gives me great pleasure."

S. Is there any special story with a participant that you remember that touched your heart?
N.  "Yes, there are some people who struggle a lot here and they have to go through a lot of things to get their green card but then they are able to get their citizenship, but I can’t remember since there are so many different stories."

S. You’re an immigrant too right? Tell us a little bit about you and your immigration story.
N.  "Yes. I came here in 1981 and four years after, I met someone and got married. That spouse helped me get my green card. I just wanted a change in life. Trinidad is slower paced. It was a big change."

S. How long have you been here?
N.  "I have been here for 37 years."

S. That’s a long time. Do you ever go back to your country?
N.  "Yes, I do visit every five years."

S. Is there anything you would like to say to a person who maybe a new volunteer? Is there anything you would like to advise them to do?
N.  "Well, it’s very important to read every question and understand it and make sure that the participant understands what you are asking them because these questions could be very tricky at times."

S. Are there any hobbies or activities that you do outside from working and volunteering?
N.  "My biggest hobby is traveling. I love to travel. Being a citizen made it much easier. Every year I travel."

S. How many places have you traveled to since becoming a U.S. citizen?
N.  "The last time I checked it was 31 places."

S. Thirty one places? And where have been to?
N.  "Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Greece, Turkey."

S. So if you were applying for citizenship your passport would be a volunteer’s nightmare, right?
N.  "Yes, it would be!"

S. We’re talking exotic destinations.
N.  "Been there done that! {laughs}"

S. Thanks Noreen.

Volunteer Profiles

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