Staff

Executive Leadership

Steven K. Choi

Executive Director

Steve Choi is the Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, a coalition of over 200 member groups that represents New York State’s immigrant communities. He has tripled the organizational budget and doubled the size of the organization’s staff since joining in 2013, now overseeing the nation’s largest state immigrant rights coalition and serving as the chief advocate on immigrant rights, education, civic participation, and health care access on the Federal, state and local levels.

From 2009 to 2013, Steve was the Executive Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action, which represents the Korean and Asian community in New York. Prior to that, he was Director of the Korean Workers Project at the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund (AALDEF). His previous experience includes working for the Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center in Boston, Greater Boston Legal Services, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Los Angeles.

Steve received a J.D. from Harvard Law School, a M.A. from the University of Hawaii, and a B.A. from Stanford University in History with Honors. He is the recipient of the 2013 New York Law Journal’s “Rising Stars” Award, the 2012 NAPABA Best Lawyers Under 40 Award, the Korean American Association “Man of the Year” Award, the Skadden Fellowship, the Wasserstein Fellowship, the Skirnick Public Interest Fellowship, and the Harvard Law School Asian Pacific American Alumni Award. He also currently serves on the New York City Commission on Human Rights.


Sara Rakita

Executive Vice President

Sara is the NYIC Executive Vice President. Sara supervises the NYIC's membership program, capacity-building efforts for community-based organizations, support for direct service providers and finance and administration. Sara played a key role in developing the NYIC's 2016-2020 strategic plan and in organizing the 2015 NYIC conference. Prior to joining the NYIC in 2014, Sara served as Associate Director of the Public Interest Law Center at NYU School of Law. She also served as a consultant to organizations including the Ford Foundation and Amnesty International USA, and as an Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch - two years of which were based in Kigali, Rwanda. Sara is a dedicated New Yorker and proud Queens resident, where she lives with her husband and two children. In addition to speaking fluent French, proficient Spanish, and some Russian, Sara holds a law degree from NYU, a masters of international affairs from Columbia University, and a B.A. from the American University.


Genevieve (Gigi) Gazón

Chief of Staff

Gigi Gazón is the NYIC Chief of Staff, which is a newly created position at the New York Immigration Coalition created to oversee the day-to-day management of NYIC’s highly talented program, policy and advocacy staff. In this role, she works closely with NYIC staff to assist in maintaining the high quality work across all areas of the organization. Prior to joining the NYIC, Gigi served as the Deputy Director of the City of Jersey City’s Division of Community Development. Gigi was born and raised in New York City to Dominican immigrant parents and currently lives in Jersey City with her husband and two children. She holds a degree in Urban Policy and Advocacy from SUNY Empire State College and speaks Spanish fluently.


Murad Awawdeh

Vice President of Advocacy

Murad Awawdeh is the NYIC Vice President of Advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition. Murad leads the Coalition's Community, Political, and Member Engagement departments. Formerly, Murad was the NYIC’s Director of Political Engagement where he led the organization's Federal, State, and Local legislative and policy campaigns to push for a more inclusive New York. Through his work, Murad has been able to secure over $120 million in funding for low-income communities of color. He has been featured in VICE, the Baffler, NY1, NY Daily News, Daily Beast, and Huffington Post. He was honored with the Brooklyn Do Gooder Award, Congressional Recognition, and State Senate and Assembly Achievement and Service Awards.


Elizabeth (Betsy) Plum

Vice President of Policy

Betsy Plum is the NYIC Vice President of Policy. She oversees the organization's issue-based policy programs, which seek to influence public policies to expand basic rights for immigrants and ensure immigrants can build truly thriving and fulfilled lives. Since joining the NYIC in 2013, Betsy has led several initiatives and campaigns to empower and integrate immigrant communities including: her leadership of the “This is Our New York” campaign in response to the 2016 presidential election, adult education and workforce development policy, and the NYIC's Key to the City Initiative. Prior to joining the NYIC, Betsy was a staff member at Central American Legal Assistance. She speaks Spanish, lives in Brooklyn, and is a graduate of Bard College and the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Staff

Mayra Aldás-Deckert

Senior Manager of Community Engagement

Mayra Aldás-Deckert is the NYIC Senior Manager of Community Engagement Manager at The New York Immigration Coalition where she provides management, logistics, and strategic planning support for a number of NYIC initiatives that support community and family engagement. She develops and implements outreach strategies to engage, educate, and inform NY's diverse communities. Previously she served as the main coordinator of the NYIC’s Key to the City Initiative, which brings foreign consulates alongside social and legal service providers to schools in immigrant neighborhoods for multi-day specialized events. A native of Ecuador, Mayra moved to NYC in 2005 with her family. She joined the New York Immigration Coalition in 2014.

Mayra graduated from Brooklyn College earning a B.S. in Business Management and Finance in 2013. In Ambato, she completed three years of Commercial Engineering with a focus in Management and Business Planning at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador.


Muzna Ansari

Manager of Policy

Muzna Ansari is the NYIC Policy Manager at the New York Immigration Coalition. She previously supported the NYIC's Immigration Advocacy team, working on state and federal policy. She now leads the organization's Blueprint project, a strategic plan for advocacy on state priorities. Before joining the NYIC, Muzna worked with the Immigration and Civil Rights Committees of the New York City Council. Previously, she worked on voting rights and campaign finance reform with the Democracy Fund of the Open Society Foundations.

Muzna received her B.A. with distinction from Barnard College and her Master's in Public Administration from New York University Wagner School of Public Service.


Claudia Calhoon

Director of Health Policy

Claudia is the NYIC Director of Health Policy. Claudia joined the NYIC in 2014. She leads development and execution of city and state campaigns to improve health access, coverage, and delivery for immigrant communities. Claudia has provided leadership to a diverse array of public health and non-profit settings including the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, the Open Society Foundations and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cuenca, Ecuador. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the HHC Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP) Performing Provider System and the Community Advisory Board of the NYU Center for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities.

Claudia is currently enrolled in the Doctorate of Public Health Program at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. She received a MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and a BA in American History from Earlham College.


Claudia Carrera

Immigrant Services Support Associate, Events

Claudia is the NYIC Immigrant Services Support Associate. Claudia joined the NYIC in 2014 as a Public Ally Americorps fellow where she worked on the DACA initiative and helped support member organizations with outreach and materials. She later worked on the Mexican Initiative for Deferred Action which helped promote DACA applications among the Mexican community and build capacity among the Mexican-lead community based organizations chosen to participate in this project. She currently works to support the Immigrant Services Support department with Key to the City events around New York City that offer consular services, free legal consultations and social services for the immigrant community.


Makdyanet Cedeno

Manager of Immigrant Services Support, Outreach

Makdy is the NYIC Manager of Immigrant Services Support. Makdy is a native New Yorker born to Dominican parents with a strong interest in public service. She attended high school in the Bronx and went on to complete her undergraduate studies at the University of Vermont where she earned a BA in Political Science. Post undergrad, she returned to New York where she attended NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and received her MPA in Public Non Profit Management and Policy. In Makdy's professional career she has worked as a Single Stop Coordinator as part a Robin Hood initiative screening low income residents for city and state benefits they are entitled to, and also as a Performance Improvement Coordinator doing continuous quality improvement work for a mental health service agency composed of 175 programs and approximately 40,000 clients.


Meredith Fortin

Director of Immigrant Services Support

Meredith Fortin is the NYIC Director of Immigrant Services Support. Meredith oversees a program dedicated to supporting service providers in the state, which includes coordination of direct service providers in coalition (including rapid response work), management of the NYIC's training institute, and the administration of events like the NYIC's Key to the City initiative. Previously she was the Asylum Program Officer at Physicians for Human Rights, where she oversaw the development, recruitment, and training of the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) Asylum Network. Before that, Meredith served as a staff attorney and then director of the Immigration Legal Program at Lutheran Social Services of New York. Meredith has represented clients before the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in a broad range of immigration matters, developed and conducted Know Your Rights programs as well as both legal and non-legal trainings for professionals, and managed community-based pro-bono immigration clinics. Meredith holds a BA from the College of William and Mary, and a JD from New York University School of Law.


Kemah George

Community Engagement Manager

Kemah George is the NYIC Community Engagement Manager. Kemah works to strengthen immigrant communities through education and engagement. In her advocacy role, she supports the Black Immigrant Engagement Initiative and Know Your Rights workshops. Prior to joining the NYIC, Kemah served as the Coordinator of Social Justice at the YWCA Brooklyn, where she developed programs and implemented social justice initiatives for women and girls. She also assisted in the development of the Central American Minors program at the International Rescue Committee in Silver Spring, MD and facilitated community orientation sessions for newly arrived refugees at the IRC in Atlanta, GA.

Kemah was born in Brooklyn, New York to Liberian immigrants. She holds a law degree from Howard University School of Law, a Master's of Public Policy from George Mason University, and a B.S.Ed in English Education from The University of Georgia.


Saima Anjam

Senior Director of Advocacy

Saima Anjam is the Senior Director of Advocacy. Saima has been working to create and support necessary social change so all New Yorkers can thrive.

Prior to joining the NYIC, Saima was the Director of Public Policy at the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Environmental Health Director for Environmental Advocates of New York, and served as a project coordinator for the New York Public Interest Research Group where she coordinated the research, advocacy and outreach efforts of offices in Long Island and Queens, New York.


Rovika Rajkishun

Development Director

Rovika Rajkishun is the Development Director for the NYIC. In this capacity, she oversees the fundraising initiatives for the organization. Utilizing almost fifteen years of experience in fundraising, Rovika's expertise includes strategies for increasing revenues and diversifying funding streams, individual donor and board stewardship, and establishing and maintaining relationships with foundations and corporate grantors. Rovika has a B.A. in Comparative Religion from Barnard College. She has lived in Sunset Park, Brooklyn for the last sixteen years with her husband. They now have two sons. Rovika is on the board of directors of two non-profits: Girls for Gender Equity and Wild Earth. She also teaches as part of the Robin Hood Foundation's Grant Readiness Training Program (G.R.I.T).


Silvia Gonzales

Manager of Administration & Finance

Silvia is the NYIC Manager of Administration and Finance. In her current role, she manages the financial health of the organization and oversees state and city contracts from budgeting to reporting. A native Peruvian, Silvia fell in love with nonprofits when she was a teenager. Inspired by a high school program Global Kids at International High School at LaGuardia Community College, Silvia quickly developed a deep passion for nonprofit and charitable work. She joined the New York Immigration Coalition as an intern in 2005 and has provided administrative support to the NYIC for over 10 years.

Silvia holds a BA in Political Science and Latin American Studies from Hunter College.


Suvasini Patel

Communications Strategist

Suvasini Patel is the communications strategist at NYIC. In this newly created role, she oversees the communications team and works to optimize processes and opportunities to ensure that organizational issues and concerns remain in the public eye. Previously, she led communications efforts at a poverty research center at New York University and at WITNESS, the international human rights group. She also served as the Deputy Director of Special Projects at journalist Bill Moyers' Public Affairs Television and as the High Impact TV Director at the PBS series, P.O.V., where she developed dozens of online and community-based campaigns with scores of national and local partners and public television stations in support of some of the most pressing social causes of our times.


Arianna Rosales

Manager of Communications

Arianna Rosales is the Communications Manager at the NYIC. In this role, she supports the organization's digital, marketing, and press strategy. Previously, she worked as the Deputy Editor and Production Manager at the Stanford Law School, and spent a year contributing to the Communications and Development divisions at the Guttmacher Institute.

Arianna is a native Californian and graduated from Stanford University with a BA in English Literature.


Kiwi Grady

Senior Manager of Membership & Capacity Building

Kiwi Grady is the NYIC Senior Manager of Member Services and Leadership Development. In her role, she runs leadership development and service programs such as the NYIC VISTA program, which places AmeriCorps members in service at nonprofit organizations around New York State, where they build capacity for immigrant-focused anti-poverty programs and services; and the NYIC Volunteer program, which provides opportunities for individuals to support diverse immigration services, advocacy efforts, and fundraising campaigns. She also has a leadership role in the ongoing development of the NYIC's Membership program, which works to support and engage nonprofit organizations in immigration advocacy and service campaigns, and created the New Americans Youth Leadership Corps, a leadership development and service program for first and second generation immigrant youth. Prior to working at the NYIC, Kiwi managed student leadership development programs and organizational chapters at the national Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and peer education-in-residence and social justice programs at New York University’s (NYU) Department of Residential Education.

Kiwi earned a bachelor’s degree in Gender and Sexuality Studies and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study and the NYU Steinhardt School of Education, respectively. In her fairly limited spare time, Kiwi loves to consume speculative fiction, read comic books, obsess over theme parks, and try to understand cats (it is not working).


Jano Tantongco

Communications Associate & Online Editor for Long Island Wins

Jano Tantongco is the Communications Associate at the NYIC, supporting the organization's overall communications strategy. He also serves as the Online Editor for Long Island Wins, an editorial advocacy project of the NYIC. Before joining the team in 2018, he worked as a journalist for weekly newspapers in Long Island and Queens. His work has appeared in Long Island Wins, Long Islander News, Long Island Weekly, The Queens Courier, and The New York Times. He also occasionally works as a wedding photographer on the weekends. In his spare moments, he enjoys reading about Zen philosophy, listening to Bossa Nova, and writing fiction. A proud alumnus of Queens College, Jano earned his B.A. in Media Studies.


Theodore Moore

Director of Local Policy and Legislation

Theodore Moore is the Director of Local Policy and Legislation at the NYIC where he supports the development of local and regional campaigns. He brings over 15 years of non-profit and political advocacy experience, having previously worked as a Senior Policy Analyst for NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in the Policy & Innovation Division, as the National Lead Organizer with the Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC-United), with ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York, and with the Working Families Party. Theo is also a founding member of New Kings Democrats and serves as a board member of the Riders Alliance. He is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, born and raised in the East Flatbush section of the borough, and a long-suffering Mets fan. #LGM


Max W. Hadler

Senior Manager of Health Policy

Max Hadler is the NYIC Senior Manager of Health Policy. He works on a range of issues and campaigns at the city and state levels to improve health access, coverage, and delivery for immigrant communities. Prior to joining the NYIC team, he worked in many capacities related to access to care for immigrants, including project director and research associate at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, researcher at the UCLA North American Integration and Development Center, and Spanish-English medical interpreter at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Max received an MPH from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and an MA in Latin American Studies from the UCLA International Institute. He also holds a BA from Wesleyan University.


Anu Joshi

Director of Immigration Policy

Anu Joshi is the NYIC Immigration Policy Director. She has worked for six years in the immigrant rights movement, including with the Center for New Community in Chicago and the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Washington, D.C.. Previously, Anu organized around issues relating to access to education and foreign policy. She was also a child protective services social worker. She is a native Californian and has her Masters in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley.


Mark Libatique

Membership & Capacity Building Associate

Mark has been the NYIC Membership and Capacity-Building Associate since the beginning of 2017. Prior to that, he's been: a museum tour guide, an adult night school French and Mandarin teacher, a news editor, a freelance editorial consultant, a street canvasser, and a cashier at a Times Square watch store (among other things).

Mark received his BA in journalism at Rutgers University and is currently working on getting his Masters degree in Public Administration from NYU.


Camille J. Mackler

Director of Immigration Legal Policy

Camille J. Mackler, Esq. is the NYIC Director of Immigration Legal Policy. In her role, she works on crafting NYIC policy priorities relating to access to justice and right to counsel for New York's immigrant communities. Prior to joining the NYIC, Camille was in private practice representing detained and non-detained immigrants facing deportation, in asylum proceedings, or in family-based petitions. She currently serves as the Chair of the Protecting Immigrant New Yorkers Task Force, the Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Immigration Representation, and sits on the American Immigration Lawyers Association committees on Consumer Protection and Unauthorized Practice of Law (national) and Media & Advocacy (New York Chapter).


Meghan Maloney de Zaldivar

Manager of Member Engagement, Western NY

Meghan is the NYIC Manager of Member Engagement in Western New York. Meghan is a native of Buffalo, New York. In her role, Meghan works with NYIC members and partners to understand and advocate for the complex and diverse issues that immigrants face in the Western New York region. Before coming to the NYIC, Meghan worked on Buffalo's West Side for People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) Buffalo as an organizer and Community Education Specialist. Prior to her work with PUSH, Meghan worked in El Salvador for the Center for Exchange and Solidarity. In El Salvador, Meghan also contributed in various roles, researching gender inequality in organizing, coordinating international election observation, working with community health organizations, and interpreting and translating for various individuals and professionals. Meghan holds a BA from Hampshire College in Central American Studies and Popular Education.


Carlene Pinto

Manager of Member Engagement, NYC

Carlene Pinto is the NYIC Manager of Member Engagement in New York City. Carlene coordinates the engagement for over 130 member organizations and partners across the five boroughs. Since joining the NYIC in 2015, Carlene has mobilized thousands to support the NYIC's efforts to defend and protect the rights of all immigrant New Yorkers. Before joining the NYIC, Carlene worked with The Justice League NYC - a task force under The Gathering for Justice founded by civil rights pioneer Harry Belafonte. With the Justice League, Carlene helped coordinate logistics for a 250 mile, 9 Day Journey from NYC to Washington DC, The March2Justice (2015). Prior to that, Carlene served The Riverside Church as the Coordinator of Mission and Social Justice Programming, providing program support to seventeen different issue area campaigns, focusing on human rights, equity, and equality.

Carlene holds a BA from the State University of New York College at New Paltz where she majored in criminal justice and minored in disaster relief psychology. During her time there, she traveled the country as a first responder to natural disasters.


Juan J. Ramírez

Manager of Human Resources

Juan J. Ramirez is the NYIC Manager of Human Resources. Juan joined the organization in 2007 as the Executive Assistant, managing the Office of the Executive Director. In his current position, he manages office administration along with the IT infrastructure of the organization. Juan is involved in the logistics for most organizational events such as: advocacy days of action, the NYIC Gala, and the Annual Meeting,among others. Additionally, he works with core functions relating to human resources and assists in setting and implementing employee policies. In his personal time, he volunteers with nonprofits that focus on education access and served as a mentor through iMentor.

Juan holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with a focus on Colonial Latin America from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.


Christina Samuels

Manager of Education Policy

Christina Samuels is the NYIC Manager of Education Policy. She oversees the organization’s individual fundraising activities along with the annual gala. Previously, Christina was a Development Associate at Facing History and Ourselves and has held positions in the corporate sector and with government contractors. Christina holds an MA in Anthropology/International Development from The George Washington University and graduated summa cum laude from the Robert E. Cook Honors College at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Anthropology.


Anique Singer

Operations Associate

Anique is the NYIC Operations Associate. She assists with event planning and provides administrative support to the staff. She previously worked at The National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) as the Finance and Operations Associate and as a Fellow with their Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute (RJLI). Before that, she was the Project FAIR and Public Benefits Paralegal with the Legal Aid Society.

Anique is Okinawan American and was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. She holds a B.A. from Tufts University, where she double majored in Sociology (with a focus on Social Inequalities and Social Change) and Peace and Justice Studies (with a concentration in Gender Studies).


Kim Sykes

Director of Education Policy

Kim Sykes is the NYIC Director of Education Policy. Kim has longstanding ties to the NYIC, first working as a Fellow within the Worker's Rights program in 2008. She then joined the NYIC in September 2010 as a Policy and Program Fellow responsible for special projects such as co-leading the National Immigrant Integration Conference's education track and developing the NYIC's first performance evaluation system. Her current responsibilities include overseeing the NYIC's education policy work to support immigrant students and English language learners. She has run the NYIC's Education Collaborative since 2012, steering its successful campaigns on language access and protecting students from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Previously, she was Account Supervisor at Resnicow + Associates, a leading strategic communications agency for non-profit arts organizations.

Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Spanish from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana and an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) with dual concentrations in social policy and nonprofit management.


Samantha Van Doran

Manager of Development, Grants and Foundation Relations

Samantha Van Doran is the NYIC Manager of Development, Grants and Foundation Relations. Sam supports grant writing and reporting, event planning, all fundraising-related communications, and more. She originally joined the NYIC as a development fellow through the federal AmeriCorps VISTA program in August 2015 and joined the Coalition as a full-time staff member in September 2016. Prior to her work at the NYIC, Sam interned with World Relief at their headquarters in Baltimore, MD and the Keeler Tavern Museum in Ridgefield, CT, focusing on fundraising and communications at both.

Samantha graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, with a B.A. with honors in History.


Benita Von Lilienfeld-Berry

Executive Associate

Benita von Lilienfeld-Berry is the NYIC Executive Associate. Benita supports the Executive Leadership Team and manages the NYIC Board of Directors. Before joining the NYIC, Benita was a financial services paralegal at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, where she wrote a daily newsletter on financial regulatory policy with over 20,000 subscribers. Benita received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in English and Spanish Literature & Culture.


Erica Watson

Immigrant Services Support Associate, Training

Erica Watson is the NYIC Immigrant Services Support Training Associate. As part of the Immigrant Services Support team, she coordinates trainings in order to build the capacity of legal service providers and other immigrant-serving organizations. She first joined the NYIC as an Americorps VISTA and worked to connect low-income immigrants to legal services and other critical resources. Prior to joining the NYIC, Erica worked to support migrant farmworkers in New York State at the Cornell Farmworker Program. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish at Cornell University.


Karen Kithan Yau, Esq.

Director of Membership & Capacity Building

Karen Kithan Yau, Esq. is the Director of Membership and Capacity Building at NYIC, and is responsible for overseeing membership services and capacity building efforts that strengthen and sustain our member organizations.

Karen has over two decades of experience working with immigrants, workers, and other poor and working people. Karen began her career as a community organizer for MFY Legal Services. Karen became a long-time workers’ rights lawyer, serving as an Assistant Attorney General at the Labor Bureau at the State Attorney General. She led investigations into labor violations in the agricultural, greengrocer, moving, restaurant, taxi, and other industries. She was also the recipient of a Skadden Fellowship at the National Employment Law Project and a Robert M. Cover Teaching Fellowship at Yale Law School, and held an assistant professorship at Syracuse University College of Law. In addition, Karen served as the Executive Director of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, a pan-Asian advocacy organization. Karen currently mediates disputes, facilitates small group discussions, and teaches as an adjunct college professor. Karen is active in community organizations and bar associations.

Karen received a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, a B.A. from Stony Brook University.

She emigrated from Hong Kong and speaks fluent Cantonese Chinese.


Fellows

Alejandra Lopez-Cuellar

AmeriCorps VISTA - VISTA Leader

Alejandra Lopez-Cuellar is the AmeriCorps VISTA Leader for the 2017-2018 VISTA cohort at the NYIC. Through her position, she manages, supports, and allocates the proper resources to current VISTA serving at various NYIC host sites, as well as recruiting and training volunteers. Before joining the NYIC, Alejandra served a year as an AmeriCorps CSU STEM VISTA, at her host site, San Jose State University, under their Engineering Projects for Community Service (EPICS). During her time there, she supported the students enrolled in the course and connected the EPICS program with the necessary community partners, industry sponsors, and technically skilled mentors. Alejandra earned her B.A. in Ethnic Studies with a Political Science minor from the University of San Diego.


Maya Moskowitz

AmeriCorps VISTA - Communications

Maya Moskowitz is a recent graduate of Oberlin College, where she majored in Politics with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies. She also has a strong filmmaking background, and studied at the Prague Film School in the Documentary Production program. Maya has worked on several student films, as well as commercial shoots. She began her focus on immigration when she traveled to Lesvos Island, Greece in 2015 as an independent volunteer, assisting migrants crossing the Aegean Sea. Upon returning to Oberlin, Maya conducted research on the rejection of refugees as an effect of the Communist legacy in the former-Eastern Bloc, as well as the rise of Islamophobia in the United States post-9/11 and how it may contribute to restrictionist immigration policy. She previously interned with HIAS Refugee Resettlement in their Community Engagement department. Maya is passionate about social justice and equal opportunity, as well as dogs, good food, and curly hair!


Nirmala Singh

NYC Civic Corps - Immigrant Services Support

Nirmala is a recent graduate of Mount Saint Mary College, where her deep interests in gender equity and education policies led her to major in History and Political Science with a minor in Sociology. Most of her undergraduate career has been focused in government agencies, primarily the New York State Assembly and the United States House of Representatives, as well as numerous nonprofits and volunteer organizations.

Assisting those who feel voiceless within society has been her passion both in the U.S. and in Guyana, where she is originally from. She hopes to one day contribute to bridging the gaps between gender and education inequality.


Oriana Rosado

AmeriCorps VISTA - Community Engagement

Oriana Shulevitz Rosado has taken a winding career path since graduating college in 2016. After graduating from Brown University, where she dual majored in History and Political Science, she worked for AlphaSights as a Client Service Associate. There she navigated the world of start-ups, hedge funds, and consulting. After five months, she realized that she was really meant for the nonprofit world and left to spend some months volunteering at UnLocal and Legal Hand. At Legal Hand, she was a volunteer providing legal information to the Crown Heights community, which ranged from tenant rights to resumé writing lessons. At UnLocal, an immigrant legal aid organization, she helped with English to Spanish translation and filling out immigration applications. She then went to a full time job as an Immigration Paralegal at the Law Office of Cheryl R. David. As an Immigration Paralegal, she worked firsthand with the legal immigration system and handled clients’ Adjustment of Status from start to finish. Finally, wanting to do more to protect the rights of immigrants in NYC, she took a position as an AmeriCorp VISTA member at the NYIC. During her off time, she enjoys kicking things and people at Taekwondo practice—it is her favorite way to blow off steam. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is trying to get used to winter; she is still not a fan.


Keven Tierra

AmeriCorps Public Ally - Outreach

Keven is a first year AmeriCorps Public Allies fellow. He is from West New York, NJ, and is a recent graduate from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science and Criminal Justice. During his years as an undergraduate, he was very active in his community and was involved in multiple organizations both off and on campus, such as the Martin Luther King Leadership Conference and the Latino Student Council (LSC). In the LSC, he took on the positions of Parliamentarian and Secretary and became a voice for the Latino community by making sure their needs were being met within the university.

Need legal assistance?

Call the NYS Immigration Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 or view our directory of service providers here