The Office of Welcoming Communities (OWC) of Jersey City held its first community navigator training in April 2017. The community navigator program is part of Jersey City’s Citizenship Campaign.
The training session, led by members of the OWC Yves Nibungco, Yalenny Vargas and Pam Andes, as well as one Americorp VISTA, Maneza Mohamad Ali. The first session had 20 participants comprised of community members and representatives of community organizations. Notably, some participants that the OWC was able to engage came from the traditional cultural organizations are usually mainly engaged in social and cultural activities.
The participants learned about Jersey City’s Citizenship Campaign, the citizenship process, and basic information and qualification for citizenship. Also present at the training were the new Immigrant Affairs Commissioners as well as Jersey City’s Council President, Rolando Lavarro Jr.
The community navigator training has 3 sessions, first is the orientation where prospective community navigators get to learn about the citizenship campaign as well as the role of community navigators. The second session involves a more in-depth training on the N-400 naturalization application and the I-912 fee waiver request. The third and last session entails actual practice and assistance of constituents in one the Office of Welcoming Communities’ regularly scheduled citizenship application appointments at the City Hall.
The community navigator program is part of Jersey City’s Citizenship Campaign #JCMakeItYours #Cities4Citizenship, which aims to educating, engaging and mobilizing various stakeholders in Jersey City to promote citizenship application. For this year, the OWC aims to train at least 10 community navigators increase the number of citizenship applications.