A Career Change To Help Others

December 2023 Thought Leader - Kyryll

My name is Kyryll Levterov and I’m the Ukrainian Program Outreach Manager at New American Pathways. My job is to facilitate communication between our organization and the Ukrainian community. This involves talking to families and individuals who are still in Ukraine as well as those who are already here in Georgia. I help spread the word about what we are doing and the types of services we offer. But I also explore what the community needs so that New AP can provide the assistance Ukrainians need most. The best part of working at New AP is being able to help people in need. That’s why I love working for this non-profit because our whole mission is serving others.

Helping Ukrainians is especially important to me because I’m from Kyiv, Ukraine. My family and I fled Ukraine in February 2022. First, we went to Vienna, Austria. Then we moved to Vancouver, Canada and after spending time there we made our way to sunny Atlanta, Georgia. Our travel was stressful, although it was much easier than what many other Ukrainian families have had to undertake.

Leaving Ukraine was just the first of many changes for me and my family. When I came to the United States, I didn’t just change my home address. I also had to change careers. In Ukraine, I practiced law for 18 years and worked for several different law firms. I specialized in real estate, development, and mergers and acquisitions projects. In 2012, my agricultural practice was the largest in the country and part of my job involved traveling all around Ukraine and I loved being able to discover (and at times re-discover) my country. I do miss traveling, meeting people, and assisting them to help make their lives easier. Being an attorney is not always fun and can be challenging but I do miss it. Luckily, I’m still in touch with my partners who decided to stay in Ukraine, so we often communicate.

There were two main reasons I had to switch careers when I came to the U.S. The first is that in order to practice law here, you must have a degree from a U.S. school. Despite practicing law for years in Ukraine, I would have to go back to law school in this country, which would take at least two years. I am hoping to return to Ukraine once it’s safe, so I’m undecided if I will get my degree here. The other reason I changed careers is to help my nation. Many of my friends and colleagues joined the military. My choice is to serve those families who are forced to leave Ukraine and move to the U.S. As a new immigrant my experience is fresh and can be helpful in relating to those who are coming here to start a new life. I know exactly what the individuals and families are going through and how they feel, so I’m able to help them navigate all the issues that come up.

As we close out 2023, I want to thank the team at New AP for their dedication to the work we’re doing. Being able to help fellow Ukrainians as they arrive in Georgia has been incredibly fulfilling and I hope we’ll be able to assist even more people in the new year.