At 21 years old, Raka Choudhury came to the US as a Master’s student. Following her studies, she found an employer that sponsored her for an H-1B Visa. Raka appreciated her employer sponsoring her, but the process was very long, and the restrictions made it harder to explore some job opportunities. She was grateful to obtain her green card five years ago, as it opened many more doors to find positions directly aligned with her interests.
One of those doors led Raka to the Washington D.C. Department of Transportation, where she has been working for five years now. She says, “I have lived in Washington D.C. for the last 13 years, everything I do affects people who live in my neighborhood and community. My work directly impacts everything around me.” The work Raka is doing in her community makes her feel valuable and she feels that she is leaving a lasting contribution.
Raka first heard about the citizenship workshops from D.C. Government’s Department of Human Resources and acknowledges that these sessions made the process, “really simple and straightforward –it was really helpful to have the Mayor’s Fund and these New American Workforce workshops; it fell into place at the right time for me.”
In January 2020, Raka gave her Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony and became a U.S. Citizen. Raka is glad that she can now “participate in government and policy decisions that affect me every day” and recognizes that, “by being a citizen I hope I can advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.”