Overcoming Obstacles

Rebuilding Hope, August 2015 edition
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Dan McMaster mentors Shafiqullah Jahish on U.S. resume and interview techniques through the Careers and Connections program.

Dan McMaster mentors Shafiqullah Jahish on U.S. resume and interview techniques through the Careers and Connections program.

In June, LIRS released the Careers and Connections Guide, a new tool that helps new Americans overcome obstacles as they integrate into their communities.

Our research suggests that mentoring programs help new Americans find a better career and expand their social ties to the community. This new resource helps partner organizations and congregations establish mentoring programs that can impact generations to come.

Two of the early participants in the new program reported the following:

Shafiqullah Jahish (mentee): “When I came here, I applied for dozens of jobs, but I never heard back from any of them and I didn’t know the reason. After working with Dan [McCaster], I found out that the reason was my resume. I had an Afghan style 10-page resume and I am sure none of the employers ever looked at it.

Dan helped me to make a professional resume. I do have more confidence in talking to people about my life and career goals. I know what to ask during the informational interviews. We will be doing some mock interviews in the next two weeks to get to know the interview system here in [the] USA.”

Dan McMaster (mentor): “I’m impressed with the drive and the hard work immigrants are willing to put in to take ownership of their futures. For example, Shafiq has a full-time job, is in college and has a wife and four kids. He could have said he was too busy to make time for this Careers and Connections program. However, he added that into the mix of his life, to better ensure his and his family’s success down the road.”

Together we are improving career opportunities, combatting isolation, and strengthening our collective response to our new neighbors. You can download the Careers and Connections Guide on our website.

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