Olu Ajayi: May 2014

Volunteer with citizenship now

Olu Ajayi   Olu Ajayi: Volunteer Corps Member

Q.  Tell us about yourself--do either you or a family member have a personal immigration story?
A.  "Every immigrant has a story. My experience was not as difficult as some of the people that I have had the privilege of helping."

Q. How many times have you volunteered at our events? And what makes you keep coming back?
A.  "I began volunteering with Citizenship Now! nine years ago and have volunteered more times than I can remember. I have done every call-in to date and have attended several application assistance events. I keep coming back because it is a gratifying experience."

Q. What’s one of your most memorable moments as a volunteer with Citizenship Now? And why?
A.  "I remember answering a call during the 2009 call-in, and the caller was so impressed with our services that she became a volunteer the following year."

Q. What is your favorite borough to volunteer at? 
A.  "Brooklyn."

Q. Why do you volunteer with the NYC/CUNY Citizenship Now! Volunteer Corps?
A.  "I volunteer with Citizenship Now! because every participant’s story is my story at one time or the other."

Q. What do you enjoy most at our events?
A.  "I enjoy networking and helping participants. Additionally, I particularly like the level of professionalism and camaraderie among the volunteers."

Q. What are you looking forward to at the next event?
A.  "I am looking forward to meeting and helping the participants as well as seeing the smiles on their faces when they have been assisted. 

Q. In what way(s) has volunteering with Citizenship Now! impacted you personally?
A.  "Listening to participants’ stories has made me realize how lucky I am that I did not have to go through half of the hardship that many people endure to reach their goal of citizenship."

Q. Outside of work and volunteering, tell us about some special hobbies or interests that you have?
A.  "Learning, traveling, meeting new people, movies and playing basketball"

Q. Has your knowledge of immigration law improved because of the time you have spent volunteering with us? What have you learned?
A.  "Absolutely. I have learned about different types of visas, qualifications and all the necessary immigration forms/ fees. I also now understand the function of the Board of Immigration Appeals."

Q. What is your favorite section of the volunteer newsletter “Citizenship Now! Monthly” and/or volunteer website?
A.  "All the sections. I enjoy reading the entire content of the newsletter."

Q. What does community mean for you?
A.  "Community means everything. It is my comfort zone. It is a place where I belong. Above all, it is where everybody knows my name."