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Making Ripples with Job Readiness

For every person we encounter, we make an impact– a ripple in their life whether small or big. You may never know just how strong that impact was or how far it spread into someone’s life, but it is always present.

I applied to be an intern at World Relief because I hoped that through working with the organization I could make a ripple in the life of someone else. I never knew it could be something that would lead me to the front doors of so many refugees here in the Quad Cities.

At my interview, I was asked if I thought I could help develop and run a Job Readiness program.

Utilizing the knowledge of many throughout the Moline office and building off of the classes developed by other World Relief communities, I put together a short presentation to help orient newly arrived refugees as they enter the American workforce. That was the easy part.

Then came the second, and far more important, aspect of the program– presenting to the newly arrived refugees. I have been welcomed across doorsteps and into living rooms; I have waved hello to little kids peeking in; and I have exchanged smiles and well wishes across many languages.

It is as much about sharing what I know and have learned about being prepared for the workplace as it is about making connections with the community of people World Relief serves.

Throughout the year, I hope to continue working with the new arrivals and reaching across the linguistic and cultural barriers we may have to help us both grow– me as someone who wants to proceed with a career in humanitarian work, and them as they find new career paths in the United States.

And, hopefully, I will be able to revisit those I have already met for new conversations and a part two to the program. I hope that the ripples I make in their lives continue to be passed onto others as I carry on with the ripples they have made in my life.

Written by Alyssa Twilbeck

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