Office of Student Success | Colin Powell School

NYC Asylum Application Help Center

NYC ASYLUM Days of action

The Colin Powell School is sponsoring three Days of Actions — on Friday, Oct. 13; Saturday, Oct. 21; and Saturday, Oct. 28. Sign up for one or more days and get paid $150/day! Participants must work at the NYC Asylum Application Help Center (located at 520 W. 49th St.) from 9 am to 5 pm. Apply by Sept. 15 in order to be considered for this opportunity. We will select 20 students to participate on each of these days.


NYC has welcomed tens of thousands of asylum seekers over the past year, and many want to file asylum applications, which will in turn allow them to apply for work authorization.  In order to help people apply for asylum, the New York City Mayor’s Office opened an Asylum Application Help Center at the Red Cross in Midtown.  The Center opened in late June and is operating in consultation with immigration legal service providers, with pro bono support from a number of top law firms, and with the help of students at local colleges and universities.  The Center supports applicants as they complete asylum applications pro se and does not offer full representation.

Interested asylum seekers are scheduled for one-on-one appointments at the Application Help Center, where trained application assistants work with the applicant to answer questions.  Experienced immigration lawyers are on site to supervise application assistants and provide guidance; interpreters are on site to provide in-person language assistance.  The Help Center is scaling up quickly, with the goal of serving thousands of asylum seekers this year.

The Help Center wants highly motivated, empathetic students to work one-on-one with asylum seekers on these Days of Action. Assistants will educate asylum seekers about asylum and then help them complete an asylum application. Each Asylum Application Assistant will be trained and will be supervised and supported by onsite Supervising Attorneys.

Program Contact

Christine Garmendiz Headshot

Fellowships and Student Success Program Coordinator

Christine Garmendiz

Program Contact

Director of Fellowship Programs & Office of Student Success

Debbie Cheng


  • Support asylum seekers in completing asylum applications, working with each applicant one-on-one to answer questions and guide them through the process
  • Comply with NYC program guidance and reporting requirements
  • Work with interpreters as needed
  • Attend two related workshops at the Colin Powell School on Oct. 3 and 31, from 12:30 to 1:45 pm
  • Complete 2-hour online training before Days of Action


  • At least 18 years old
  • Experience in completing and complying with government forms and procedures
  • A willingness to undergo training about immigration procedures
  • A willingness to work IN PERSON and ON-SITE at the Center FROM 9 AM TO 5PM on the designated day
  • Proficiency in Spanish is preferred (not required)
  • Empathy and confidentiality about sensitive topics
  • MUST pass a background check (the Colin Powell School will take care of this)


  • $150/day – must work from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Stipend will be issued about two months after Days of Action


September 15, 2023

Abram Morris

Abram Morris is a student at City College studying Architecture. He was brought to Days of Action by a passion for social justice and international affairs. In his career, Abram hopes to find the intersection of environmental justice, design, advocacy, and reconciliation. He is eager to bring empathy to asylum seekers as they navigate the process, and to learn more about it along the way.

Alejandra Zuluaga

Alejandra Zuluaga is a rising Junior at City College majoring in Communication: AD & PR with a Minor in Management and Administration. Born in Peru, she came to the states at five-years-old and was raised bi-culturally. Her own experience of being an immigrant and watching her family be ostracized in different ways is what brought her to apply for Days of Action. The issues of most interest to her are social justice and women properly developed to be in leadership. Her hobbies include photography, singing, and hiking as much as a critical thinker she might be she allows herself to be lost in the world of art, nature, and creativity.

Alicia Persad

Alicia is a professional Indian dancer whose background is from Trinidad and Tobago, pursuing a degree in finance. She is currently A junior at the City College Of New York, pursuing her dreams of working with numbers. Alicia came from an undocumented family where it was always hard for her to obtain opportunities and succeed in her career path. As she saw the advantage of the fellowship “Days Of Action”, she immediately applied. Dealing with foreigners her whole life strikes a vein in her heart to see others deal with such a brutal experience. Helping individuals will not only influence others that there is still hope but also to see others smile knowing that there are good people willing to assist them.

Almasur Antor

Almasur Antor is a first-generation college student residing in the Bronx, enrolled at The City College of New York and pursuing a computer science degree. As a Bangladeshi immigrant, Almasur understands the struggle of starting a new life in America. Participating in Days of Action would allow him to help struggling immigrants just like he once was and help them towards the American Dream. He loves community service; at the moment, he volunteers at an urban farm and supports his high school community by working as a college advisor assistant. Almasur is very out-going and extremely active, he plays all kinds of sports and recently he started playing table tennis.

Andrea Maliza Barbosa

Andrea is a current student double majoring in Psychology and Political Science at the City College of New York. Coming from Mexican and Ecuadorian parents, she has decided to apply for Days of Action to help those like her parents, who have benefited the support and help the City of New York has had to offer. She finds passion in helping others and advocating for those in needed assistance. Some of her favorites hobbies are weight training and trying new restaurants around the city!

Angela Lin

Angela Lin is an sophomore student currently attending full time at ccny. She’s bilingual in Chinese and English, majoring in bilingual education and minoring in psychology. She comes from an traditional Chinese family but is raised up in the US. She is also an LGBTQ member that loves to play chess.

Asrar Hassan

Asrar Hassan is an economics major with a psychology minor at the Colin Powell School. She is a rising junior who is constantly trying to be a helping hand in her community. She wants to open up her own business in the future so she thrives to build her network and work hard for her dreams. She is an immigrant, so she empathizes with the people who are in need of help. she joined the “days of action” to help give a sense of hope and guidance to those who are in need of it.

Carlos Enrique Rodriguez Cobar

Carlos, a sophomore majoring in economics, was born in Honduras and raised in Nicaragua. During his years in Nicaragua, he witnessed a political downturn due to the dictatorship and that experience profoundly marked his life. It sparked a thirst for social justice, not only for Nicaraguan people but for Latin America. His enduring interest in political, economic, and social issues in Latin America has been a driving force in his academic journey. Observing the growing number of asylum seekers arriving in New York, Carlos is compelled to find ways to contribute to the well-being and integration of individuals now in vulnerable positions.

Dania Alhindawi

Dania Alhindawi is a BA/MA Psychology major concentrating on substance use counseling. She is interested in assisting people in their journey of healing. Throughout her academic journey, she has developed a deep interest in helping individuals in their healing process. Having witnessed the detrimental effects of mental health stigma on the Muslim-American community, she is driven to decrease this stigma and create a safe and supportive environment for all. Dania is conducting research within the Muslim-American community: “How does trauma affect academics with Muslim-American college students?” Through this research, she aims to shed light on the unique challenges faced by this community and explore practical strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of trauma on their educational journeys. Dania aspires to get her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and advocate for mental health.

Dayana Moreno Ramos

Dayana is a student majoring in International Relations with a minor in Political Science. She is expected to graduate in June 2024. Originally from Venezuela, Dayana moved to the U.S at the age of thirteen. Her personal experience as a former DACA student has fueled her passion for immigrant rights. Dayana recognizes that many immigration laws in the United States were passed based on racial discrimination and quotas, resulting in an inequitable system that fails to live up to America’s promise. Her ultimate goal is to work towards making the system more accessible and equitable for everyone. She plans to advocate for the removal of quotas based on country of origin and to work towards simplifying the admissions process. Dayana hopes to have a positive impact on the immigrant community.

Erezana Morina

Erezana Morina is a senior at The Colin Powell School, majoring in Economics with a minor in International Studies and Management & Administration. Originally from Kosovo, she moved to New York City five years ago and is fluent in Albanian. Since Summer 2021, Erezana was a Programming and Logistics Coordinator for the Zahn Innovation Center at The City College of New York. This summer, she embarked on a new internship with Northwestern Mutual as a Financial Representative. Erezana loves reading books and playing soccer, playing professionally back in Kosovo.

Flamur Kukaj

Flamur Kukaj is an economics majorgoes,  to The City College of New York and currently a junior in 2023-2024. He was born and raised in New York but parents are from Albania. His parents were also immigrants and has helped them his whole life with documents. Flamur has applied to the Days of Action because he believes when you do good, good will return back to you, and he believes helping people is a good way to show their is still humanity in this world. Issues that interest him are the economy, becoming a financial analyst and accountant. His hobbies are playing soccer, working out and video games.

Karen Herrera

Karen is a biochemistry major. Her family is from Ecuador and she has a cat and dog with her partner. Since she has witnessed the violence and despair asylum seekers experience, she wanted to help. Karen plans on becoming a surgeon.

Katherine Parra

Katherine Parra is twenty-one years old. She is a senior, double majoring in Psychology and Management and Administration at the City College of New York, anticipating to graduate with a bachelor of arts in 2024. Katherine carries the weight of expectations as a child of Hispanic parents who never had the opportunity to attend college and faced profound hardships. Confronting life’s intimidating challenges has instilled in her a profound appreciation for the value of life and a resolute commitment to becoming the best version of herself, beginning with self-improvement and extending to aiding others. She acknowledges that she is a work in progress, and defining her true identity remains an ongoing journey. However, Katherine remains dedicated to personal growth and development, recognizing their important role in guiding her toward a path of success.

Li Kuan Phang

Li, a senior at the City College of New York within the CUNY system, is majoring in Environmental Engineering. She envisions her academic background leading to a career where she collaborates with professionals to develop affordable and accessible clean energy solutions. Motivated by the Days of Action, Li wants to support new immigrants who desire to build a new life after enduring previous hardships. She believes that her involvement in assisting asylum seekers in filing asylum applications may help them feel the mental and physical support, embodying the spirit of a New Yorker. In her leisure time, Li enjoys exploring the diverse cultural landscape of NYC through walks around the city.

Lorelyn Scarlet Cespedes Nolasco

Lorelyn Cespedes is a 24-year-old student who loves social sciences. This year she completed her associate’s degree in liberal arts at Hostos Community College. This fall she began her journey to obtain her bachelor’s degree in psychology at City College. She plans to enter BAMA’s Psychology Program next semester. Something important to say about her is that she has been a legal resident of this country for four years. As a foreigner, she understands what it’s like to leave her country and what you know. That is why she feels identified and motivated to participate in these days of action. Furthermore, she likes topics related to culture and the impacts and changes that have led our society to be what it is. She would like to deepen her knowledge about ethnicities and races since she considers that it is a topic that gives a lot to talk about in our current social reality.

Mahmudul Hasan

Mahmudul Hasan is a sophomore from the country of Bangladesh. Currently pursuing a major in computer science during the 2023-2024 school year, Mahmudul has always been captivated by the world of technology and its limitless possibilities. What brought Mahmudul to apply for Days of Action was his desire to make an impact beyond the digital realm. What brought Mahmudul to apply for Days of Action, specifically to aid immigrants, was his empathy and belief in the importance of helping those in need. Aside from his academic pursuits, Mahmudul loves soccer. He also loves biking with his friends when they have time.

Mariam Mishu

Mariam Mishu is a first generation daughter Majoring in psychology and minoring in Sociology at City College of New York. She was Born In Bangladesh and spent her teen life in New York City. She has always found herself being passionate about working for others, giving away to people what she has but others do not. She has developed a distinct viewpoint as an immigrant and first-generation student that has formed her beliefs and sparked her passion for social action. She personally encountered the difficulties and obstacles faced by marginalized populations growing up in an immigrant home. She has experienced a strong feeling of empathy and a burning desire to build a more just society after seeing how her family overcomes these challenges with perseverance and strength. In her free time she loves to explore new cultures, music and places.

MD Abir

MD Abir is a fourth-year student pursuing a degree in Economics at City College during the 2023-2024 academic year. Hailing from Bangladesh, Abir’s journey to the United States was driven by the pursuit of a better life amid economic turmoil in his home country. His family’s unwavering support and sacrifices have fueled his determination to succeed.
Abir applied for Days of Action because he has a great deal of compassion for people going through similar situations. He hopes to be a ray of hope for those seeking asylum, offering advice and support based on his own experiences. Abir is passionate about the topic of immigration and aspires to use his professional position to advance fair and just immigration laws.
Abir loves hanging out with his friends and enjoys tasting other cuisines outside of academics and campaigning. He adds significantly to the Days of Action team with his amazing capacity for adaptability and persistence.

Monique George

Monique George is a returning City College student completing her undergraduate degree with a major in Political Science. As a non-traditional student, she returns to higher education with decades of real-world learning experiences that derive both from a successful career and the challenges of being a single mother to a disabled son. Monique’s life journey has inspired her to pursue a new career that is focused on her personal values of fair play and public service. With a plan to attend law school, she aspires to work in areas of Public Policy and Immigration. Her goal is to serve the underrepresented and the unrepresented in her community.

Nelson Igunma

Nelson Igunma is a first-generation Nigerian-American who recently returned to NYC and CUNY after several years working in the “Global South”. Nelson previously worked with companies including an edtech company based in New York, a startup incubator based in India, and an ecosystem builder across Southeast Asia; he is now using his time studying Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences to pursue law school. Nelson sees his work with the Asylum Help Center as part of a renewed effort to use his work and research experience to support diverse communities closer to home in pursuit of a sustainable and equitable city.

Paola Cruz

Paola is a business administration major in her 3rd year of college. She comes from a very united hispanic family and her parents came very young to the US from Puerto Rico looking for a better life. She is the youngest of four daughters but was raised to be super independent and to always have a helping hand. Paola applied for Days of Action because she enjoys helping others and sees a passion in finding a better opportunity at life. She has experienced a lot of family friends struggle to live the “American Dream” and will like to make their journey a bit easier. Paola has her own small business where she makes chocolate covered sweets and aspires to stay in the business field. She doesn’t know exactly her dream position but she knows it will involve people and business.

Paula Rivas

Paula Rivas is a junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science. She was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. She applied for Days of Action coming from a multicultural community and witnessing the challenges faced by immigrants in the United States. She developed a passion for understanding immigration policies and their impact. With a strong commitment to social justice, her goal is to create more equitable and just policies for immigrants and support individuals navigating the complex immigration system. Helping asylum seekers complete their asylum applications aligns perfectly with her aspirations and reasons for applying to Days of Action. In their free time, Paula enjoys video editing and staying up-to-date on current politics. They also love to travel and explore new cultures, which has further fueled their interest in immigration and cultural exchange.

Raida Uddin

Raida Uddin is a junior at The City College of New York majoring in computer science with a minor in economics. She comes from a close knit family deeply rooted in Bangladeshi culture. Having witnessed the power of collective action and community engagement she felt compelled to contribute her skills to Days of Action. Raida is enthusiastic about this opportunity to make a difference and work alongside like-minded people who share the same passion as her. She envisions a future where she can apply her expertise to solve real world problems.

Raina Durango

Raina is a Psychology major and Theater minor at City College of New York since 2018-2023. She will be graduating at the end of the fall semester with her bachelors. Raina comes from a mixed background, being of Columbian, Ecuadorian, Puerto Rican, and Trinidadian descent. What brought Raina to Days of Action is her passion for helping others and lending a supportive ear to those who need it most. She found passion in helping others early on, and knew it was a career path she wanted to continue on. Raina hopes to continue her education and receive a PsyD education so she can become a therapist in NYC. Raina loves cats and loves dying her hair fun and out there colors!

Raky Sy

Raky Sy is Senegalo-Mauritanian and the first in her family to attend college. She is double majoring in political science and international relations. 
Raky is very attached to the ideology of pan-Africanism and the unity of the African continent. Such attachment molded her interest and passion on wanting to understand “how pluralism can work in today’s contemporary society”, meaning how to shape a world where people with different social classes, religions, identities, and with different cultural backgrounds can peacefully coexist. She believes that to maintain peace around the world, is not a question to reinforce policing or tighten regulations. But it is to decolonize certain mentality and put an end to certain centric political perspectives. She moved to the United States of America six years ago without the ability to speak the English language. It was a grueling journey as an immigrant who was taught ignorantly that the Americans were knowledgeable enough about other cultures. Her journey shaped a deep understanding of the challenges and difficulties that immigrants and asylum seekers might face. love reading African literature and listening to music. Raky’s favorite artist is Fela Kuti, and one of my favorite books is Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo.

Sabiha Shahnaz

Sabiha Shahnaz is majoring in Management and Administration in the City University of New Yorks’s City College. She is a first-generation college student who came to the US with American dreams in her eyes. She sees America is a land of opportunity and welcomes everyone with open arms. However, navigating life can be a little overwhelming when someone first arrives here. She is participating in Days of Action for NYC asylum help center so she can stretch her hands towards those in need.

Soné Hege-Cornell

Soné Hege-Cornell is a senior majoring in Latin American Studies, with a minor in Community Change Studies. She is part of the inaugural cohort of Moynihan Public Service Fellows. Adopted from Cuilapa, Guatemala to a family of artists, Soné grew up in Nyack, New York. During her time at CCNY, Soné has deepened her passion of public service, as well as her connections to her cultural roots as Latinx woman. Soné hopes to enter the immigration rights field, through advocacy and organizing. Therefore, she is more than happy to participate in the upcoming Days of Action. Soné also hopes to join the community of midwives and doulas fighting for reproductive justice, especially in regards to birth justice for women of color. She hopes to be a doula herself one day! Her happy place is playing with her puppy, Stevie Nicks.

Tabitha Setari

Tabitha Setari is an upper junior Psychology major at CCNY. She is also double minoring in Theatre and Music. Tabitha is a Queens native and is currently living in Manhattan. In the future, she plans to work as a writer and organizational psychologist. Tabitha is a musician and artist currently writing with two bands, among other projects.

Tasnoba Rahman

Tasnoba Rahman is a 4th year majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology. She is Bengali Muslim American and first-generation immigrant, which is the reason why she applied to the Days of Actions. Her upbringing as a immigrant In New York City is the hardest experience go through so far with navigating the system and the culture alongside her family, even with documentation. Tasnoba grew up with experiences of filing and filling out paperwork and working alongside lawyers who would represent some of her undocumented family members and the other non family members. She also got involved with bailing some of them from the local ICE centers in Texas and New Mexico. 

As an aspiring social worker and a physician she hopes to heal and bring justice when it comes to marginalized communities. She hopes to help reform immigration policy and healthcare policy (focusing on mental health) that will eventually help immigrants thrive in communities all through out America. She is in love with reading journal articles and research papers about body health and neurological function. She likes to travel, read, play sports and go on spontaneous adventures with her family and freinds, including roadtrips.