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Iryna’s Path: Making a Difference through Teaching

By Rossella A. 

Refugees leave everything behind to come to the United States. JEVS’ Center for New Americans (CNA) plays an important role by helping them when they arrive. CNA offers support through programs, job opportunities, and Vocational English Language Training (VELT) classes.  

Iryna, who is from Ukraine, studied English and French Language & Literature at Drohobych Pedagogical State University. She then became a certified teacher and taught for over 10 years. Due to the war in Ukraine, Iryna and her family moved to the USA in July 2022. Despite the challenges of starting over in a new country, Iryna stayed determined. CNA helped her create a resume, and JEVS hired her as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. Iryna helps her students enhance their language skills. Most of all she loves the diversity of students in her ESL classes. She says she is learning so much about other places around the world.  

Iryna uses a variety of teaching techniques in her classes. She focuses on reading, writing, speaking, and listening to give her students. She is happy to help others and works enthusiastically on behalf of her students at the Center for New Americans.  

From Haiti to JEVS’ Center for New Americans (CNA): Marie’s Journey

By Tetiana F. and Rossella A. 

JEVS’ Center for New Americans (CNA) helps many people from Haiti. Haiti is a small country with lots of natural resources, but it is struggling with poverty and crime. Just a small group of people in Haiti have most of the country’s money, while many Haitians live in poverty, earning less than $2.00 a day, and some even less than $1.25 a day. The average salary in Haiti is about 50 times lower than in the United States. 

Marie C.N. came to the United States in March 2023. In Haiti, she worked as a school custodian after she finished high school. In the U.S., she found a job as a packer at a company called Greenyard Logistics, even though it was far from her home. 

Even though Marie did not speak much English, she worked hard and was always on time. She learned quickly and got better at English. She also kept looking for other jobs. In November, CNA helped her apply for a Warehouse Worker position at URBN. Marie impressed the people interviewing her with her energy, confidence, and humor. They offered her the job, which provided full health benefits and was closer to her home. She works there now and hopes to get a Pennsylvania driver’s license and a car soon. 

What is special about Marie is how much she loves Haiti. She shares Haitian culture, music, fashion, and history on social media. She stays informed about what is happening in Haiti and helps her family back there. Marie is proud to be Haitian, and that makes her story stand out. People like Marie make the United States more diverse and show that anyone can achieve the American dream with hard work and kindness. 

Yana’s Journey with JEVS’ Center for New Americans (CNA) 

By Serhii Y.

JEVS’ Center for New Americans (CNA) gives training and coaching for finding jobs to those like refugees, asylees, and survivors of human trafficking. They offer lots of services to help these individuals rebuild their lives in the United States. Many of them had to leave their homelands quickly and come to the U.S. without knowing what to expect.

It’s not an easy thing to do and it’s important that we hear their stories.

JEVS’ Job Placement Counselor and Job Developer Serhii Y. had the following to share about a CNA participant named Yana K.

“Today, I am writing a story about a Ukrainian girl who was challenged to leave her past life and move to the United States with her husband. This story is unusual because Yana and Ivan are an international couple from warring countries: Ukraine and Russia.

They are both sailors and met while working on a cruise ship. Like many married couples, Yana and her husband worked and planned to save money so they could buy their own house, raise their children, and enjoy life. But the war ruined their plans, and they were forced to leave. The war happened while they were working on a ship in Europe, and they were never able to return home.

Upon arriving in the United States, the young couple looked for an organization that would provide free English classes and help them find employment. And this is how they ended up at the JEVS Human Services Center for New Americans.

They are very grateful for the support, help, kindness, and care of the U.S. government and all people.

After attending English classes, Yana and her husband went to work. Yana started her first job in the U.S. at a children’s clinic as a receptionist. When a Case Manager position opened at JEVS Human Services, Yana applied, passed the interview, and joined our team at the Center for New Americans.

Yana is an experienced and successful Case Manager. She assists our clients from all over the world by providing our social services. Our clients love Yana for her dedication and friendly attitude towards them, and her colleagues respect Yana for her professionalism. I wish for Yana to grow with JEVS Human Services and continue to build on her plans in her new home country in the USA.

I am glad to say that this young couple is now back on their feet. They are already helping those who need help and support, just as they once did.”

Click this link to learn more about the JEVS’ Center for New Americans.

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