Celebrating Refugees

Padam Giri is a Case Manager and Employment Specialist with New American
Pathways Resettlement and Resource Navigation (R&RN) program.

I came to the United States on April 19, 2010, at midnight with my parents. When we arrived at the Atlanta airport we were welcomed by our Case Manager from World Relief Atlanta. My first year in the U.S. is kind of a mixed experience. As a new immigrant in a foreign country, I had to face lots of challenges, like find a job, figure out transportation, learn a new language, and take care of elderly parents in a new world where they understood very little. Despite these challenges, I enjoyed my new life in my new land, but I did miss the refugee life. Even though there was no future there, we lived amongst friends and relatives, who I remember fondly.

When I received my documents and was ready to work I planned to find a job ASAP. I wanted to work in a place where I could make a decent living and serve people like my family and myself.

My first job was working on the second shift, which started at 3 p.m. Having mornings free, I asked my Case Manager if I could do volunteer service with my resettlement agency, as I had volunteered with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) back in the Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal. My Case Manager arranged for me to work as a volunteer with World Relief in my available time, and through them I became connected to Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta (RRISA), which was one of the founding partners that became New American Pathways.

New American Pathways is like my second home. I get the opportunity to help new families from different parts of the world and walk with them on the pathway that brought me to where I am today.

As a Case Manager and Employment Specialist at New American Pathways, I see first hand that refugees are fulfilling a shortage in today’s labor market. Refugees are a diverse group and they have the potential to make a positive contribution to societies in a variety of ways.