Throughout my life I have participated in various engagements and community building opportunities that have exposed me to the basics of community work. As a youth, my mother educated me on the importance of community involvement and outreach. She held my siblings and me accountable for our environment and expected each of us to be responsible enough to lead our peers and explore social change in our neighborhood. I began to explore social justice work professionally as a young adult. Previously, I worked in an organization called Education Works, which partnered with elementary schools located in low-income, urban neighborhoods to develop after-school programs and summer camps, mentor students, and engage the community through volunteer work. In the Fall of 2008, I was selected to participate in the Community College of Philadelphia’s (CCP) Honors Liberal Arts program, which challenged me to become civically engaged and fluent in local city processes in my community. These experiences (and more) prepared me for my time with Public Allies and my work with the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) by training me in community navigation and cultural and linguistic fluency with Black immigrant communities. All of my experiences were necessary to develop, plan and manage the Black Immigrant Engagement Initiative at the NYIC, an initiative constructed to intersect the Black immigrant experience into the immigration movement to strengthen their rights and access to support services. To succeed in this work, I combined my past experiences with new skills to build one solid foundation of work in social justice and public administration.