The IRC in NJ’s Economic Empowerment team support clients with finding opportunities and in pursuing economic mobility.  

One client has turned to the IRC in NJ for her career development. She arrived in the US from Afghanistan as a widow with her four children in 2016. She had worked as a dressmaker in her home country and knew she needed to work in the US to make ends meet but it was a challenge to find childcare. Soon after, she started to work outside of the home in a local, woman-owned Afghan restaurant. After two years of working in the restaurant, she worked as a Machine Operator in Newark. As a single mother, it was important for her to provide for her family and set an example for her children.  

She took every opportunity to practice her English at work and she eventually obtained her driver’s license and purchased her first car. With her children a little older and more independent, she could be more flexible to new opportunities. After building a four-year work history and gaining new experience, She turned to the IRC for help with a job upgrade offering higher pay. She was ready and optimistic to find something.  

Hiba, the IRC in NJ’s Employment Specialist helped her to brainstorm different career paths. Based on her previous experiences, she decided to enter the childcare & learning field. She decided to apply for an Assistant Teacher position at a Child Learning Center in Newark, NJ. She had to go through a rigorous and lengthy background clearance process before she could start the job. The IRC assisted her through the long process and encouraged her along the way. Hiba supported her with the lengthy application process which required several compliance checks and evaluations. She became more confident with the interview and application process and soon enough was offered the role!  

It has been an emotional and long journey, but the outcome has been transformative. She takes pride in her new role, which allows her to sharpen her professional skills, contribute to childhood education, and expand her English.  

The IRC in NJ is proud of this client's success and wishes her the best.