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Photo Credit: Christina Noel

In Venezuela I was at the top of my field. I worked for one of the largest financial groups in the world, and taught at a top-ranked university. But as circumstances in my country changed, I had to seek political asylum in the U.S., leaving my wife and young daughter behind.

When I arrived, I felt as if I had to relearn everything from scratch. The job search and interviewing process was so different from what I was used to in my home country. I felt isolated and like I would never fit in.

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Belinda and the Chicago skyline. Photo credit: Christina Noel

In her home country of Ghana, Belinda was known as a “Boss Chick” — an ambitious woman who had built a successful career as an architect and project manager. She oversaw portfolios and projects of all sizes across the country. UpGlo was proud to champion Belinda’s professional ambitions in Chicago, supporting her in rebuilding a career in project management and design with McDonald’s corporate offices. Here is her story:

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Photo Credit: Christina Noel

When I first came to the U.S., I loved that there was so much to see here in terms of architecture. Chicago’s incredible skyline represented what I’d read about America being the land of opportunity. You hear breathtaking stories of ordinary people creating empires out of virtually nothing. …


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Back in my home country, in Western Africa, I earned a law degree and started a foundation providing legal aid, access to courts, and rehabilitation and reintegration for incarcerated women and children. I advocated tirelessly for reform of our country’s legal system, which was plagued by corruption and lack of due process. I helped more than 200 women get released on bail, and secured 35 acquittals.

I was a single mother of two children, helping other mothers. This work was my passion, my reason for getting up in the morning. But as my efforts started to get more press coverage and international attention, I was constantly monitored and received threats from the government. …

About

Upwardly Global

Upwardly Global is a national nonprofit organization that works to eliminate employment barriers for skilled immigrants and refugees.

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