2015 MCN Conference Delegate | AsylumConnect
The day Marie-Esther learned about AsylumConnect (AsCo) was the day her life changed for the better.
She met the co-founder of AsylumConnect Katie Sgarro at the 2015 Millennium Campus Conference (MCC15) in the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Katie spoke about AsylumConnect at one of the group discussions at the conference, and Marie-Esther thought "this is what I should be doing!" She became an instant fan of the work AsCo is doing. Katie explained the organization’s mission with such passion that Marie-Esther aspired to be her; she knew then that she wanted to be involved with AsCo and support its mission.
Marie-Esther took the initiative to apply to be a team member of AsCo. She sent in an application to be an AsCo University Chapter Coordinator and was promptly accepted for the position. She felt immense pride upon receiving that news- she couldn't wait to get to work.
Growing up, she had a basic knowledge and familiarity with the process of seeking asylum. To her, asylum seeking was a given- she had family members that successfully received asylum in the U.S. and would tell her how easy a process it was. So upon learning the hardships LGBTQI asylum seekers faced through AsCo, she was shocked. It's hard to fathom that LGBTQI people continue to face challenges when it comes to seeking asylum simply because of their identity. The more stories about the discrimination that LGBTQI asylum seekers faced that she read, the more enraged she became at this notion. As a result, she vowed to actively play a role in helping the 300,000+ LGBTQI asylum seekers in the US.
Looking forward, Marie-Esther is aware that there will be ups and downs, failures and successes as she continues her work with AsCo; but she's also optimistic for the LGBTQI community's future. She firmly believes that many people will benefit from the work of AsCo and is proud to contribute to such an impactful organization.