How did being in New York impact your professional journey?
Without Wagner and New York, I truly do not believe that I would be where I am today nor would I have had the experiences I did. Being here allowed me to intern at two wonderful, top-level organizations, Human Rights Watch and WaterAid America. Additionally, I was able to connect with and meet advocates from many social justice organizations and movements, something that does not really exist on a similar scale in other cities in the US. New York City is always on the forefront of pushing progressive policies and initiatives forward, and being here allowed me to partake in that.
How did your Wagner experience prepare you professionally for what you are doing today?
As I mentioned, my Wagner experience got me to where I am. I am working in the immigration field, something that I zeroed in on while at Wagner. My theoretical classes taught me background and the skills needed to understand cultural contexts. My practical classes allowed me to develop my skills in program management and evaluation. My experience in planning events on campus enhanced my organizational and logistical skills.
Describe your current job.
I co-lead a team of 15 enthusiastic, dedicated organizers who connect the residents of NYC to our services, most notably the municipal ID-- IDNYC. This ID is available to all residents of NYC 14 years of age and over, regardless of immigration status. It comes with amazing benefits (such as free year-long memberships at 33 cultural institutions around the City), but more importantly, it is a way to ensure that all New Yorkers feel that they truly belong. It has helped thousands of people feel more secure in this city; many have opened bank accounts or accessed needed services for the first time, now that they have a valid ID. I am grateful to be a part of this and other important initiatives at MOIA that ensure that New York is inclusive of everyone.