AABANY Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Vice Chair Olympia Moy and her partner Elizabeth Ingriselli’s wedding story was featured in an April 9, 2021 article in The New York Times titled “They Didn’t Need a Dating App After All.”
Their story began in 2016 when Olympia came across Elizabeth’s profile on the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel and became intrigued by their similar interests. Both of them had graduated from Princeton and both were interested in pursuing a career in law. Weeks later, after Olympia received no response to the “like” she left on Elizabeth’s profile, they both happened to attend the same Pride Month mixer in Manhattan. Instead of avoiding Elizabeth, Olympia struck a conversation with her and learned that Elizabeth had not rejected her on the dating app, but rather had not seen the “like.” They quickly became friends and after a few months of meeting, they went on their first date. On March 7, 2021, Olympia and Elizabeth held a small wedding ceremony at an outdoor dining structure in Chinatown within the Covid-19 guidelines. They plan to hold a second, larger celebration at the Princeton University Chapel next year.
Please join AABANY in congratulating Olympia and Elizabeth on their marriage! To read their full wedding story, please click here.
On March 9, 2021, Fordham Law News published an article spotlighting the role that Fordham Law students have played in spearheading AABANY’s Covid Rent Relief Program. Olympia Moy ‘21 and Meng Zhang ’20 kickstarted AABANY’s volunteer effort last summer, after New York State launched a rent relief program to assist residents who had lost income due to the pandemic. Concerned about low-income Chinatown-area residents, many of whom did not speak English as their first language, Moy and Zhang worked with other AABANY law students and attorneys to hold a one-day rent assistance event. On July 26, the volunteers helped 125 pre-registrants and many walk-ins navigate the challenging application process. When the state’s rent relief program opened its second round of applications in the winter, AABANY volunteers teamed up again to disseminate the program information and invite applicants to contact AABANY’s hotline for assistance. Nicholas Loh ‘22 helped lead this two-week hotline effort, connecting over 85 callers with Chinese-speaking volunteers.
The article celebrated the recognition that these students and AABANY members have received from four New York state senators. At a Lunar New Year virtual celebration in February, Sen. Brian Kavanagh awarded AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee with a certificate of commendation for providing invaluable legal assistance to the AAPI community. Looking into the future, Moy states: “We students are going to continue to try to respond as long as there are further rollouts and extensions.” To learn more about the advocacy efforts of Moy and her fellow AABANY volunteers, click here.
New York State Senators John Liu (11th District, Queens), Andrew Gounardes (22nd District, Brooklyn), Brian Kavanagh (26th District, Manhattan) and Toby Stavisky (16th District, Queens) hosted a Lunar New Year virtual celebration Tuesday evening, February 16, featuring performances from AAPI youth and community honorees. The event was well-attended by city, state and federal elected officials, as well as community leaders and their organizations.
Senator Kavanagh presented May Wong, Esq., and Olympia Moy with a certificate of commendation to recognize the work of AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee in providing invaluable legal assistance to the AAPI community during the pandemic. May Wong and Olympia Moy were proud to accept the certificate on behalf of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. In their acceptance speech, they detailed the committee’s success in creating a one-day “in-person” clinic in July 2020 to assist tenants with paper applications for the COVID Rent Relief Program. When the COVID Rent Relief Program was extended to February 2021, law students volunteered again to establish a two-week remote hotline service to assist non-English speaking tenants apply via telephone. They were able to assist callers in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish with the help of the committee’s community partners, Chinatown CLT and GOLES. May Wong and Olympia Moy concluded their speech by expressing gratitude towards the State for its effort in addressing the State’s housing and poverty crisis and strongly encouraged the State to “direct emergency financial relief to tenants and property owners in meaningful programs that can provide permanent rental assistance and increased access to rental subsidies.”
Thank you to all the attorney volunteers and law students who helped AABANY and the community, especially May Wong, William Lee, Karen Lin, Nicholas Loh, Xinyi Shen, and Olympia Moy.
Congratulations to the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee on this well-deserved recognition! To learn more about the Committee and all its wonderful work, go to probono.aabany.org. They are always looking for more volunteers so email them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
The COVID Rent Relief Program (“RRP”) held by Community Land Trust (“CLT”) and the Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) concluded on July 26th, 2020 with an application drive in Chinatown. During the term of outreach, the program received over 125 voicemails and online form submissions. On the day of the drive, 25 volunteers aided over 100 walk-in applicants who had been screened for qualification.
The application drive held on July 26th at the Florentine School was expeditiously put together in five days, to accommodate the quickly approaching application deadline of July 30th*, by AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee and COVID Student Task Force. Most notably, attorneys May Wong, Angela Wu, William Lee, and law students Dianna Lam, Olympia Moy, Xinyi Shen, and Meng Zhang were the driving factors of the event’s success. To the volunteers, it was imperative to host an in-person event to help the community. “Many Chinatown residents cannot go on Zoom, some don’t even have online access, and, even with online access, some may not find the forms because of language difficulties,” noted Moy. The volunteers have spent tireless hours in organizing the logistics for the event, training for and then evaluating RRP applications of the community, and then following up with intakes for those who are eligible applicants. “One of the most memorable parts of our [RRP], despite all the hurdles we had to navigate through, was how much all the volunteers cared to help our community,” says Lam. Lam add: “All the volunteers patiently and calmly explained to the tenants all their options, any risks they might bear submitting their information, and sat through with each applicant until the application was either fully complete or until the tenants accepted that they did not qualify.”
AABANY again thanks all the volunteers mentioned above, as well as May Mok and Sherman Ngan of AM 1380 & AM 1480 and Jacky Wong, for advertising and covering the event; Samantha Sumilang who provided rent relief training to volunteers over Zoom the day before; Jonathan Hernandez for being on standby for any last minute needs; the APALSA COVID Student Task Force for reaching out to their members for volunteer recruiting; and all other attorney, CLT, and community volunteers who made the event possible.
The RRP was introduced on July 16th, 2020 and first administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The purpose of the RRP is to distribute a $100 million fund amongst the low-income families of New York who have suffered income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to keep their families in their homes. The $100 million fund was provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on March 27th, 2020. The RRP declares that a household is eligible for assistance as long as at least one member in the household has U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status. All adult household members, regardless of their income earning position, are to be listed on the application form to be considered, including household members with ineligible immigration status. This is a potential grave risk to undocumented immigrants since the federal government could get their information through the RRP. As such, it should be noted that by applying for rent relief, applicants bear the risk of being or having undocumented family members deported.
“The drive’s success is a true testament of our selflessness, passion, and commitment to giving back as a community. We find comfort knowing that our locals are better positioned to receive rent relief,” said Lee.
For additional coverage in Chinese, please see the article written by World Journalhere.
*As of July 31st, 2020, the application deadline has been extended to August 6th, 2020.