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Upwardly Global’s job seekers and alumni are at the heart of our mission, and their success is what drives our work and passion everyday.

Meet some of the incredible people who are part of our community and learn about their journeys.

Alumni

“Upwardly Global helped me to feel a sense of community and belonging. I saw that others have walked this path, putting their best foot forward to get what they deserve.” Adebola trained as a medical doctor in Nigeria, but after a few years of clinical practice she decided to focus

Adriana fled Venezuela, where she worked as a pediatrician to go to the US. Upwardly Global supported Adriana as she navigated the expensive and lengthy process of relicensing to practice medicine. She got a spot in a pediatric residency in Florida at the height of covid. As one of the
In Pakistan, Ahmad worked in an executive position in marketing. He arrived in the US and experienced much difficulty trying to find a professional job. The place where he was staying fell through, and he end up homeless, spending several nights outside in freezing weather. He heard about Upwardly Global
Alex immigrated from Hong Kong with a dream to work in the technology industry. Since he was young, he always enjoyed entertainment and technology. He immigrated ot the US with a greencard and tried to apply for many jobs in technology, but found the process much harder than expected. With
Ali
Ali immigrated to the US from Afghanistan in 2014. In Afghanistan he worked in treasury, accounting, and administration. He was disappointed in the job search and starting looking for survival jobs. With job search training, Ali learned how to answer interview questions and body language. He eventually secured a full-time
Alizata worked as a financial counselor in Cote d’Ivoire, arriving in the US with sales and marketing experience. She also worked with local small businesses to offer training and help foster financial literacy in her community. Once she migrated to the US, she could only find work as a home
Alpha came to the US as a political asylee, with two master’s degrees and speaking four languages. His first job in the US was as a security guard to make ends meat. Upwardly Global helped him get back in the job field as an account, and he was hired by
Andrew worked as an engineer and entrepreneur in Kenya, but he had to leave his country due to government corruption and demands for bribes. He moved to Seattle, working low wage jobs while caring for his children. Andrew found Upwardly Global and worked with their training program, which gave him
Angel worked as an IT professional in El Salvador; he was approved for a green card to join his mother in the US, and arrived in February 2020. Because of Upwardly Global’s partnership with Google, Angel earned a Google IT Support Professional Certificate. In late 2020, Angel was elated to
Ann

“Reaching out to Upwardly Global is a great way to get into the system and navigate your way through. All the resources are here, the opportunities are here; whatever you want to do, you can do.” Ann’s corner office is tidy and practical, warmed by glowing lamplight. She peers to

Ashwaq, an engineer, worked as a contractor for the US army and helped rebuilt two major hospitals in Baghdad. Her work for the military gave her the opportunity to apply for SIV (special immigrant visa). She had a bachelor’s degree in building and construction engineering from the University of Technology
Au
Au grew up in a small town in Vietnam and attended college in Ho Chi Minh City. She worked in consumer research at Unilever until 2016, when she decided to move to the U.S. to find opportunity and to be with her husband. She worked a survival job as an
Belinda worked as a female architect in Ghana and was eager to get back to work when she moved to Chicago. She started out working as a cashier and was promoted to customer service manager. After she joined Upwardly Global’s program, Belinda attended many events and was connected to her
UpGlo alumna Belkina loved her work as a dietician in her home country of Venezuela, but corruption at the government-run hospital where she worked, and the food shortages and desperation throughout her country forced her to seek asylum in the U.S. With UpGlo’s help, she has rebuilt her life and
Originally from Kenya, Benson came to the US in 2016 to join his wife and son. He sent out many resumes with few responses before joining UpGlo where he learned about job interviews and how to craft a resume. He now works as an admissions advisor in an IT college
Corena worked as a senior IT manager in Taiwan before emigrating in 2010 to join her family in the U.S. Her job search left her wanting to quit: “I felt like I was just a little fish swimming in the ocean, and no one could notice my existence.” But in
Dominique worked as an ER doctor in Cameroon, but in 2015 he was forced to flee with his wife as political asylees. While volunteering at a county health program, Dominique was introduced to Upwardly Global, which helped him work on his resume, network, and get back into the medical field.
Dorcas worked in western Africa providing legal aid and helped get more than 200 women released on bail. She was abducted for three weeks and then fled and arrived in the US. She worked with UpGlo, and got a job she loves in an administrative role at a nonprofit health

Dr. Prasolova worked as an anesthesiologist in Moscow and moved to the US at 35 knowing she would have to start over. There were many licensing barriers, including two costly exams and a three year residency that she needed to complete in order to get matched with a hospital, though

Granted asylum in the US in 2011, Dr. Mahmood immigrated from Pakistan where she worked as a doctor. When she came to NY, she felt alone, but connected with UpGlo where she learned about the job market and got a tech job in a pharmacy. She also wrote a book
While she worked as a physician in Ethiopia, Eden decided to seen asylum in the US and immigrated. She learned the difficulty of entering the medical field as a foreign-trained doctor, a process that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. She found Upwardly Global, and the coaches helped her

Euromonitor: “I am so grateful for Upwardly Global. They provided me with all the tools and an amazing job coach that helped me to understand the American job market. They helped me to figure out how my international experience was an asset and guided me through the dynamic of job

In Iraq, Fahad worked for the US Agency for International Development, helping the agency support a Democratic government in his country. He applied for a SIV and settled in Chicago in 2016. Fahad now works at Upwardly Global as a Senior Program Manager.
Gabriela worked as a PR professional in Brazil, but was unable to get a job in a professional position in the US. She attended a career summit and worked hard with Upwardly Global and finally landed a temporary contract position. After many interviews and written tests, Gabriela got a full-time
Ukrainian immigrant in Upwardly Global office

Lyubava, a Ukrainian immigrant, builds career with impact in New York City By the mid-2010s, Lyubava sensed that it was time to leave Ukraine. With tensions escalating between Russia and her home country, she saw the potential of living and working internationally — both for her safety and the broadening

During the Afghan evacuation, we were part of the flights as requested by the US government. We were flying to Abu Dhabi and empty flight back to Kabul. Kabul was very restricted at that moment. Because everything was changing by the second. We did not have direct communication with the

Haleemat earned two university degrees in her native Nigeria: a Bachelor’s and a Master’s, both in economics. Despite her qualifications, restarting her career in the U.S. was difficult without a community holding her up, especially given that she was pregnant when she arrived. When her husband later joined her, they
Haroon was born in Afghanistan and was working for a major US network in Kabul on 9/11. Haroon got his law degree from Kabul University and worked for US and UK governments and supported coordination between Afghan government agencies and the US. Working for the US government put Haroon and
In Peru, Haydee worked for seven years as an IT professional at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Although she had a lot of experience, she couldn’t find a job in the US. She worked with Jason, her mentor, to improve her interview skills, resume, and search for opportunities. Upwardly Global connected Haydee with a
Isidro worked as a mechanical engineer in the Dominican Republic with over 10 years of experience. Once he came to the US, he applied for every opening he could find in his field, but was unsuccessful in landing a job. He worked with his Upwardly Global mentor and implemented a
Ivana was a celebrated journalist in South Sudan — some people even named their daughters after her because she was the model of a strong woman. She worked as a national news anchor and a radio journalist for the UN before fleeing her country due to war. When she came
In Haiti, Jacky was a physician and trained in infectious diseases. When he came to the US, it was difficult for him to find a job in medicine, especially given major licensing barriers. He was part of a mid-career internship program between Upwardly Global and the NY Presbyterian to help
In Uganda, Jacqueline worked for the United States Agency for International Development and was awarded a Special Immigrant Visa to come to the US. She arrived in 2017 and got no responses from employers for months despite more than 15 years of experience in international development. She was introduced to
John worked for one of the largest financial groups in Venezuela and taught at a top-ranked University. He sought political asylum in the US and once he arrived he had to start over. He worked many survival jobs, including for a company that manufactured machinery in restaurants, but wanted to
Kasia was a fully licensed physician in Poland, but hasn’t been able to complete the long and expensive process of relicensing in the US. As Covid spread through her community, with support at Upwardly Global she started working at a medical center providing Covid-19 screening.

I remember the day in 2016 that a terrorist attack killed several of my fellow students and professors at the American University of Afghanistan. I wasn’t hurt during the 10-hour siege, but from then on, I decided I could no longer risk attending school in-person because of my young daughter.

Khaled left Syria in 2010 due to his political activism against the Assad regime. He settled in San Francisco. Despite his educaiton and experience, Khaled sent out 500 copies of his resume and received no responses. He worked at restaurants and sold shoes to survive. With the help of Upwardly
In Thailand, Khun worked for an international group of consulting engineers and management companies. Upwardly Global helped Khun regain confidence that he could get a job without US work experienced. He got hired as a portfolio manager at water.org, an organization that works to solve the global water crisis through
Lamiley came to the U.S. from Ghana in 2011, with seven years of experience managing banking operations. When resume after resume was denied, he picked up two jobs to survive — a full-time security guard and part-time sales associate. In 2013, a colleague encouraged him to contact Upwardly Global. With
In Iraq, Lubab was licensed physician, working as a pathologist before her brother’s work for the U.S. military forced her to flee in 2014. Without time or money to study for the necessary medical exams, she worked as a cashier at a fast food restaurant in Texas. After learning of
Graduating 4th with a degree in Computer Information Systems, Lulu was hired by a global telecommunications company and became one of the first female engineers in her department. Lulu’s ticket out of Saudi Arabia was to marry a man in the US. She flew to DC with her husband, but
Max
Max was a student in Belarus and won a visa to come to the US. He was out of a job in 2009, amid the financial crisis, and learned of Upwardly Global through a mutual friend. He did many mock interviews and got his dream job in Global Technicial Opperations
In 2016, there was an attempted coup in Turkey and Mehmet’s family fled and applied for asylum in the US. He received his work permit, but after more than 200 job applications he still had no success in landing a job. Mehmet found Upwardly Global and worked with a job
Michael grew up in Ethiopia and worked as a medical doctor in a hospital on the border of South Sudan during the war. He also worked at a non-profit as a mentor for fellow medical professionals. He arrived in the US as an asylee. It was very difficult for him
Monica worked as a sociologist in Colombia and came to Upwardly Global in 2009. In Colombia, she built an afterschool program for children from scratch. She worked as a sales associate at a large department store to pay the bills. However, Upwardly Global helped her secure an informational interview with
Munara worked as an English professor in Kyrgystan. She came to the US for a temporary project at Indiana University and eventually sought asylum to live in the US. She spent many hours driving a taxi, struggling to make ends meet and sending out dozens of resumes, trying to find

“I found Upwardly Global a very unique support. I can’t even compare— it’s priceless.” Murtaza built a successful career as a monitoring and evaluation expert in Afghanistan, but his work as a U.S. contractor made him a target for the Taliban. He came to the US through SIV. It was

Mushtaq was a mechancial engineer in Iraq and worked for US Army Corps of Engineering to rebuild his country’s infrastructure. He moved to the US and was the perfect fit for the GEIR program, a program between Upwardly Global and Greeley and Hansen to bring experienced foreign-trained engineers together with
Naif was a banker in Damascus, Syria, where he was born and raised. He risked his life to flee the country in 2013, and came to the U.S. Though he recieved his work permit within six months, cultural and linguistic barriers made it a challenge to get hired. Upwardly Global
Olena was born and raised by a single mother in Ukraine and came to the US to pursue higher education. She eventually found a job in finance. As war broke out in Ukraine in February, she worked frantically to bring her mother, Nataliya, to safety. Nataliya was a professor in
Paola worked at one of Chile’s largest public hospitals, but in 2007 she moved to Chicago. Jobs were difficult to find because of the financial crisis. Once she connected with Upwardly Global, she received help on with cover letters, her resume, and networking. She volunteered for two Chicago medical researchers
Radouane worked as an IT engineer with 10 years of experience in Morocco. He worked as a taxi driver to survive after getting no response from sending out his resumes. He jointed Upwardly Global in June 2010 and three months later he was hired by Kohl’s as a senior weblogic
Rasha immigrated from Sudan, a place where her husband was arrested and jailed for openly opposing the government. Her family escaped Sudan during dangerous times when 300,000 people were killed during the genocide. She received her paramedic license from the University of Iowa and signed up to do Covid tests
Rashed grew up during the violence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and worked as the director of energy revenue and reconciliation at a power company. He immigrated to the US in 2015 as asylees without work permits. Rashed first worked low scale jobs delivering pizza and serving sandwiches, while he
Rebecca has a passion for helping women survive and thrive. She has spent her career focused on development and women’s empowerment.
In Rwanda, Remy worked as a physician. Thanks to help from Upwardly Global, in the US he found work as a contact tracer with his local health department.
Rossana worked as an electronics engineer in Venezuela, but the staggering inflation rate made it difficult for her and her husband to establish themselves. Having lived in the U.S. for four years as a child, it was not civil barriers that impacted Rossana, but professional ones. She found Upwardly Global
Rotimi worked as a pension fund and client relationship manager in Nigeria. He completed the JP Morgan Chase Personal Banker Exam and joined Upwardly Global in November 2009. His efforts to re-establish a career for himself in the US resulted in landing a job as a personal banker at JP
Ruchi built a finance career in India, working at one of India’s most respected wealth management firms and came to the US in 2010. She heard about Upwardly Global from a neighbor and enrolled in the Women’s Services Program. She worked with her career advisor to apply for jobs and
Sandra was one of UpGlo’s first alumni in New York in 2011. She was an accomplished attorney in Colombia, but couldn’t find a job in the legal profession in the US, so she worked as a babysitter. Through Upwardly Global, she met an immigration lawyer who passed on her resume

We had a night flight on 13 August 2021. Most of the provinces were already collapsed and Taliban took the control. Only two provinces were not in control of Taliban, Kabul and the nearest province Logar. The government prepare special force crew to go there and take control of the

Shorena worked in international development in Georgia before moving to Maryland to be with her husband. Initially, she was certain that her foreign accent was judged negatively as she struggled to break through the interview process. But with help from a career coach at Upwardly Global, Shorena was able to

In Iran, Sima earned a degree in architecture, but faced gender discrimination that stalled her career. A friend told Sima about Upwardly Global and connected to a coach that helped her write her resume, taught her how to interview, and write a follow up email. She landed a job in

Sofia immigrated from Mexico to the US in 2017 where she worked as the Chief of Energy Saving Training Department for Federal Commision of Electricity. With two master’s degrees but limited English skills, she found great difficulty in finding employment. She worked on her English through many courses and the

My father left Afghanistan when Russia ruled during the 1980s. So I was born in Pakistan. Our family from Afghanistan used to visit us for a night or two. The healthcare system for them was so, so bad. They used to come to Pakistan for medical reasons. I would see

Sujan worked in broadcasting in Nepal as a video editor for various television companies. In the U.S., he applied for jobs at many local television companies, but had no luck securing a job. He was working a survival job at a donut shop when he was suggested to see Upwardly

Sura is originally from Iraq, but lived as a refugee in Syria. In Syria, she studied medicine, completed her residency, and practiced medicine as a licensed physician. She resettled in Chicago in 2014, but she couldn’t get a job in the medical field and worked in an administrative role. In

In Brazil, Taciana met Fernanda, who has now been her wife for seven years. The pair decided to move to the US, so they could be closer to her children and open about their LGBTQ identity. Taciana and Fernanda worked with a job coach at Upwardly Global who also mentored
Tamas worked in auto parts sales and dealership mangement in Hungary and came to Upwardly Global four days before a big interview as a Quality Assurance Technologist at Nestlé. Upwardly Global immediately helped him to coach him through what a typical US interview is like and gave him materials to
To Dang arrived in the US and sent his resumes to many companies, but never heard back. One month before he joined Upwardly Global he sent in an application to his dream job as a coastal scientist with ESA-PWA, but he never recieved a response. A few months later he
Victoria fled Russia by herself in 2010 after facing persecution for being ethnically Chinese. In Russia, she had worked as an accountant at one of the big four oil production companies. But life in the U.S. was difficult and isolating, and she had to work jobs as a babysitter and

In Iraq, Wamidh was a successful IT entrepreneur, opening his own technical support bureau. In 2003, the war erupted, and in 2010, he got the opportunity to come to the US. He met a friend that recommended Upwardly Global and got matched to be an internet technician at one of

Wyut graduated with a degree in Medical School from Myanmar and worked as a physician for two years. She immigrated to the US in 2018 and worked as a medical assistant in NYC. There were a lot of challenges for her to become a physician in the US, including licensing
Yulia moved to the U.S. with her family in 2018. She had a Master’s Degree in Computer Science and 12 years of experience with international and American companies. Yulia was born in Azerbaijan, but also lived and worked in Russia and Poland. In each of those countries and in the
Yusuf immigrated to the US from Ethiopia. Even with advanced degrees and over 10 years of experience as a business owner and instructor, he couldn’t find a job in his field. Once Yusif came to Upwardly Global, he got an informational interview with Luis Cortez, a program alumnus who works

Zahraa and Hussein worked as doctors in emergency rooms in Iraq. With help from Upwardly Global, they spent three years of transferring paperwork, retaking exams, and interviews. Hussein works as an Internal Medicine Resident at Einstein Healthcare Network and Zahraa is an internal medicine specialist in Philadelphia, practicing at the

Zinah lived in Baghdad with her family until 2006 when they fled, spending time in Jordan and Oman. She worked to rebuild her career in HR, obtaining a master’s degree in Business administration and working as an HR manager in a global logistics company, In 2016, she immigrated to the

Employer Partners

“Resiliency, to me, is the rare ability to take adversity and turn it into opportunity – a common thread I find in the stories of immigrants and refugees. But it is this resiliency – from fleeing conflict to serving on the frontlines – that will be essential to our ability

“At Western Union we strive to create and live in an interconnected and global world. We aim for our company and our workforce to be diverse and inclusive, and that’s a commitment we’re proud to make and continue to make moving forward. It’s these values of living in a global

“As CEO of MXOtech, I’ve made gender equality and diversity a priority in our hiring practices. MXOtech has nearly tripled in size over the past nine years and with our growth has come an imperative need for experienced IT talent. However, we just weren’t finding it. The pool of quality

“I want to recognize the incredible immigrants and refugees who have helped build America and make us a country synonymous with innovation & opportunity. We are proud & grateful to have hired through UpGlo nearly 50 talented & inspiring people at Accenture. We know that we are a better &

“We strive to make a difference, and believe that by running our operations well, standing by our clients and investing in the communities we operate, we can be a powerful force for good. In our partnership with UpGlo, staff have developed strong relationships with jobseekers, volunteering their knowledge and skills

“Immigrants and refugees make America stronger in every way. They grow the economy, and create jobs and fuel innovation. During the pandemic, immigrant doctors, nurses and essential workers have saved lives, and have kept people safe and provided help to those in need. We need more immigrants, not less. I

Employer Stories

Upwardly Global’s volunteer program was highlighted in the Newsweek article “Digital Platforms, Global Impact: The Transformative Role of Online Volunteering to Uplift Skilled Immigrants.” The article — authored by longtime Upwardly Global partner Valerie Pholpituke, Regional Head of Community Impact and Engagement in the Americas for Standard Chartered Bank —

New York Presbyterian: So pleased to be part of this community today and to partner with you to bring opportunity to immigrants and refugees. We need their innovation, their talent, their power and their joy! The partnership with Upwardly Global is one of the key ways we are furthering this

Cummins: At Cummins, we believe that every one of us is responsible for creating a diverse and inclusive environment; and we truly aspire to build a workforce that is representative of the communities in which we live and work around the world. One way that our Global Talent Acquisition Team

  Made up of over 100 corporations, Upwardly Global’s DEI Employer Working Group aims to engage corporate America to better understand the roadblocks in hiring international talent and to co-create solutions. Upwardly Global’s unique position of working with many employers over the last 20 years gives special insight to trends,

Euromonitor: “I’m very excited to partner with Upwardly Global to integrate even more diverse talent into our already very international Chicago teams at Euromonitor. We’ve seen great success in the past and have several Upwardly Global alumni still with us today.”

NBC Universal: “As an immigrant to the U.S. and the son of parents who were both affected by displacement at a young age, I am passionate about helping those who don’t share the privilege I was afforded through the upward mobility in education and business.”

Donors

Impressed by their ability to address many opportunities at once, Upwardly Global was one of Foundation Chanel’s first partnerships in the US. Adeline Azrack is the head of US Programs at Fondation Chanel.
Monica Munn serves as the Managing Director for Social Impact at the WES Mariam Assefa Fund, a strong supporter and long time partner of Upwardly Global. As the philanthropic arm of World Education Services, works towards economic inclusion, opportunities, and mobility for immigrants in the US and Canada.