"A friend told me about Upwardly Global. Walking into that office for the first time was such a relief – like a breeze from the best beach back home. I love my job, and I’m so proud to be working in a hospital again. I’m supporting my patients, and I’m also able to support my family back home.”

The first time Belkina left home was to study nutrition and pursue her career as a dietitian in Venezuela. She worked in her dream job, caring for patients at a hospital, even as her country plunged deeper into an economic and humanitarian crisis. When she caught military officials stealing the hospital food intended for her patients, Belkina knew that she had to leave – for herself, and so she could continue to help her family.

Belkina arrived in the U.S. and applied for political asylum. Although she held a master’s degree from a top university in Venezuela, she didn’t have the time or the money required to relicense as a dietitian in the U.S. She worked odd jobs as a nanny, a dog walker, and as a server in a restaurant. Many days she worked from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., stopping only to pack boxes of food and supplies to send back to Venezuela.

Upwardly Global helped Belkina explore pathways to put her experience to work in the U.S. healthcare sector and connected her with healthcare professionals in Chicago. Belkina secured a job as a Diet Clerk at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, where she is able to continue her meaningful work with patients while supporting her family.

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