Midtown Manhattan, New York City, by night.
Astoria, NY -Alishah, originally from India, first came to CIANA three years ago for a DACA renewal after a few friends recommended the organization to him. Since then, he’s come back to CIANA for all of his other renewals. CIANA Communications and Programs Manager, Maria Eliades, sat down to find out more about the striving recent New York Institute graduate.
Maria Eliades: When did you come to the States?
Alishah Ali: I came about 14-15 years ago. I was in Atlanta and then, I was there for a while, and I moved to Tennessee and from there I moved to New York. We were struggling in Tennessee, and that’s why we came here. I used to work at Metro PCS, after that, I went back to school. Then I became a dental assistant. I just took a chance. I wanted to do anything in the field of dental, medicine, and it just lucked out.
ME: How has CIANA changed your life?
AA: CIANA has helped me a lot with the renewal process. But they’ve also been really helpful with apartments, with paperwork, and everything.
My opinion is that it’s always better to have someone who is a professional at something; to make sure that everything is on point and correct. God forbid if something was wrong, or you’re missing something, then everything is messed up. Better to be safe than sorry.
I heard about CIANA because of a couple of friends because they’ve been coming here. And so that’s why I came here.
ME: What do you like most about CIANA?
AA: Everyone’s really helpful. If there’s anything I need, advice or anything like that, they tell you like it is and help you out.
ME: How do you feel that CIANA has helped you achieve your goals/dreams?
AA: Because they helped me with my paperwork, I’ve been able to study and then work.
ME: What are you thankful for?
AA: Compared to what my life was before, it’s much better now. I’m thankful for that. A few years ago, I was going nowhere. After I moved to New York, things started to get better, so I’m thankful for that.