Once an undocumented immigrant, Geovanni understands the mental and emotional struggle of integrating into a new country without any resources. After receiving help from The Door, an organization that advocates for underrepresented young people, Geovanni was able to gain documents, residency, and eventually citizenship. Inspired to help other marginalized groups, he worked at The Urban Justice Center’s (UJC) Street Vendors Project (SVP) and interned at CUNY Citizenship NOW!’s (CCN) Flushing Office to stand up for the rights of non-English-speaking immigrants.
In a continuous search for ways to pay forward the legal services that he once received, Geovanni has worked at three different placements as an IJC Community Fellow, starting at Public Health Solutions in Corona Queens in 2016, where he served the Latino community. That same year, he also provided legal services once a month for constituents of Senator Jesse Hamilton at his Brooklyn office. His second placement was at the Queens Public Library, where he split his time between two locations--the Flushing Public Library and the Jamaica Central Public Library. During his 3rd year as a Community Fellow, Geovanni was part of the IJC expansion to the Long Island project to collaborate with the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN), where he still serves vulnerable families from Central American countries who are facing deportation. Geovanni will serve a 4th year at IJC/CARECEN to continue his work on removal defense cases.