Determined and Hard Working

“What I needed to obtain employment was fluency in English.”

My family and I came to the United States from Nepal as refugees. My greatest desire was to support them to the very best of my ability. I had worked in construction in Nepal and had completed six years of formal education. I spoke fluent Nepalese and Hindi, but what I needed to obtain employment was fluency in English.

I started at the LDS Humanitarian Center two months after I arrived in the country. However, before I started I had already enrolled in a level one English as a second language (ESL) course offsite. Once I began the training program at the Humanitarian Center, I was able to participate in ESL classes at the center. Within seven months, I had achieved the highest level available and had scored very well in my listening and speaking evaluation.

I was determined and worked hard. While I was taking classes and training at the Humanitarian Center, I took a part-time position cleaning at a shopping center several nights a week to bring in additional income for my family. I got a public library card and practiced reading English at home. With the help of a Church-service missionary, I learned how to read a measuring tape in English, using fractions and decimals.

When I was ready to search for a permanent position, my job coach and a Church-service missionary were there to help me. They helped me prepare a resume and practice interviewing. I would repeat my answers in English to my job coach until I could answer clearly and confidently. I had a strong desire to get a job, so I contacted acquaintances in my community to ask for their recommendations. With help from my job coach, I submitted online applications to three businesses. I then bravely walked into one of these businesses and politely asked to see the manager whose name had been referred to me. I was well prepared for my interview. I had a good resume and had great answers to the questions asked during the interview. I got the job.

Three months later, I returned to the LDS Humanitarian Center to visit with my job coach. I told her that I was very happy and thankful for the work training program and for the opportunity to attend ESL classes. I really like my work, and my new company offers me overtime because I am a hard worker. My experience at the LDS Humanitarian Center made it possible for me to provide for my family in our new country.

"I was well prepared for my interview . . . I got the job!"

For more amazing stories like Uttam’s, visit the DI’s Facebook page by clicking here.