Emmanuel finds path to career and home for his family

Emmanuel wanted to secure a bright future for his daughters and his wife when they moved to the United States from Rwanda in 2019. He had a five-to-10-year plan to buy a house and get his daughters the education he felt they deserved – the plan succeeded faster than he could have imagined.

“When I first arrived in Minnesota, I worked with refugee resettlement at the International Institute to find housing in St. Paul, and they first introduced me to Avivo,” shares Emmanuel.

He had initial worries before coming to Avivo, but working with Avivo career counselor Mohktar Ali, he was able to solve many of those concerns.

“I didn’t know much about America and had a lot of questions. ‘How can I get service? Who can I ask? Where can I go?’ It was all challenging,” shares Emmanuel. “That’s where Mohktar was a great resource for me. He was the first person I used to talk to. He could speak Swahili and give me the hope that things would eventually be much better.”

“I didn’t know much about America and had a lot of questions. ‘How can I get service? Who can I ask? Where can I go?’ It was all challenging … That’s where Mohktar was a great resource for me.”

Working with Mohktar, Emmanuel was able to get the help he needed to create a resume, find transportation passes to take the bus, and to feel confident he could succeed.

“Avivo is unique, I would say, because they have a diverse staff. A new arrival [to America] can easily talk to staff, which gives them hope… hope that things can turn out much better in the future.”

After working with Avivo, Emmanuel found employment and started to get to work on his five-to-10-year plan.

“I was committed. I was really focused on finding a place for our family to live that my kids can call home, instead of moving from apartment to apartment.”

Emmanuel shares that he had to work extended hours, sometimes at more than one job, to save up for a down payment on a house – but just two-and-a-half years after arriving in the United States, he’d already saved enough for a down payment, and he and his family were able to purchase a house.

Emmanuel continues to thrive in his new career and works currently as a housing case manager for the same resettlement organization that originally helped him.

“Now I get to do for others what other people did for me,” he shares. “Looking in the future, my goal is to become an investor in real estate, and I also want to help my kids get as much education as they need.”

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