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On the road to citizenship and success

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Originally from Sudan, Mattar was resettled by the IRC in Atlanta in October 2013. He was quickly able to become self-sufficient, working various entry-level jobs over his first few years in the U.S. including poultry processing, hotel laundry, and even a stint on a seafood boat in Alaska!

Mattar at home in Atlanta.
Mattar at home in Atlanta. Photo: Mattar

In September 2016, Mattar joined the Jobs to Careers (J2C) program’s transportation cohort, hoping to obtain his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and pursue a career as a truck driver. Mattar completed J2C’s Advanced Work Readiness Training before working with Career Development Coordinator, Aisha Johnson, on an application for Steven’s Transport, a company that trains and employs ‘over the road’ drivers. He was accepted and enrolled into a truck driving school funded by Steven’s Transport, although Mattar unfortunately didn’t pass his driving test first time and was unable to obtain his CDL. However, he was unfazed by this temporary roadblock and continued to review lessons he had learned in CDL training, working with the IRC to identify another opportunity.

In January 2017, Mattar successfully completed a 200 hour, Class A CDL at American Truck Driving Academy, Inc. He has since been employed by Swift Transportation and enjoys being on the road, his trips usually lasting around three weeks. Mattar always stops by the IRC in Atlanta office when he has the chance – on his last visit he was able to advise another J2C client who was interested in obtaining a CDL, giving him tips on passing the written exam.

Mattar has ambitions to eventually purchase his own truck and continue on his career pathway towards becoming an owner and operator. Throughout his life, Mattar’s strong determination has helped him overcome the odds. He is currently working on obtaining his U.S. citizenship with assistance from the IRC in Atlanta’s Immigration team and is well on the road to achieving his own American dream.

To learn more about the work of the IRC in Atlanta and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Manager, Kalie Lasiter, at Kalie.Lasiter [at] Rescue.org or 678-636-8941.

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