Nubia Espana: January 2013
Nubia Espana has been a Volunteer Corps Member since October of 2011:
Q. Tell us about yourself--do either you or a family member have a personal immigration story?
A. "I came to the United States when I was 21 years old. I came on a fiancé visa and shortly after married my husband. When I first came here, I did not have any family members or friends except for my husband. It was very difficult and I felt lonely. I did not know a word of English, so I went to school to learn the language. I then attended college while holding more than one job and raising a family of three beautiful children. Today I am a successful professional mother of three educated loving children and in search of more knowledge and opportunities to contribute to society."
Q. Why do you volunteer with the NYC/CUNY Citizenship Now! Volunteer Corps?
A. "Volunteering with CUNY Citizenship Now! allows me to help my immigrant brothers and sisters and is a reminder of myself 25 years ago."
Q. How many times have you volunteered at our events and what makes you keep coming?
A. "I have volunteered on many occasions especially when the events are held on weekends. The look of gratitude and appreciation on the participants' faces keeps me coming back. I teach English as a second language (ESL), and I am currently working on a Doctoral program in ESL."
Q. What is your favorite borough to volunteer at? And why?
A. "All boroughs have welcomed me and appreciated my help, but if I must choose one I would choose the Bronx, because it is the borough that I have lived in since I arrived to the United States."
Q. What do you enjoy most at our events?
A. "Being able to help as many participants as possible and seeing the look of hope and a better future on their faces."
Q. In what way(s) has volunteering with Citizenship Now! impacted you personally?
A. "In many different ways, volunteering gives me a sense of pride and fulfillment in addition to giving me an opportunity to help my immigrant brothers and sisters in my community. Recently I had my son join the organization and volunteer his time allowing us to contribute as a family and keeping strong that mother and son bond."
Q. Has your knowledge of immigration law improved because of the time you have spent volunteering with us? What have you learned?
A. "Yes it has, I have learned about naturalization laws, updates to different laws, as well as which forms to use for different immigration processes."
Q. What is your favorite section of the volunteer newsletter “Citizenship Now! Monthly” and/or volunteer website?
A. "The Newsletter in general provides lots of information on current events, but I enjoy reading about the total number of participants helped in each event and some of the success stories presented in the newsletter."
Q. Outside of work and volunteering, tell us about some special hobbies or interests that you have?
A. "I enjoy Latin Dance like: Salsa, Bachata, Tango, Cha Cha, Merengue, etc. I also have a special interest in academic reading."
Q. What does community mean for you?
A. "Unity, a sense of safety and home."
Q. What are you looking forward to at the next event?
A. "Helping as many participants as possible and meeting other volunteers that carry with a great wealth of knowledge."