Yuliia’s journey: Overcoming adversity and finding hope in a new land

Yuliia's journey from Bakhmach, Ukraine, to Boston exemplifies resilience and strength. Despite the war's devastation, she found hope and security through Alight’s Jobs Pathway Program.
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Today, we share with you the inspiring story of resilience and strength, Yuliia’s journey from Bakhmach, a small town in the north of Ukraine, to Boston, the United States.

“I come from a small town in the north of Ukraine- Bakhmach. Before the war we lived well and carefree, went on vacation 2-3 times a year, planned children. We didn’t believe in the war so much that on the evening of February 23 we made a deposit for a new big apartment, where there was supposed to be a nursery and a beautiful terrace with a view of the sunset. Although the apartment wasn’t built yet, we already imagined a beautiful life and even argued about the color of the walls.  

But in the morning a war broke out. We were left with no money, because we had contributed it for housing, no income. It separated me from my husband, I didn’t see my parents for a year. My work was closed and never opened again. I had to go to Europe to find a job and a chance to help my parents and my sister, who is a student.”

Yuliia arrived in the United States through Alight’s Jobs Pathway Program, which secures jobs for newcomers as soon as they arrive. As she has a Masters in Social Sciences, she has started her job as a Childhood Educator at Bright Horizon’s.    

Thanks to the partnership of the Shapiro Foundation, Social Finance and a coalition of community partners, Yuliia was able to start the job within days of her arrival. Accelerated job placement means one less hurdle to overcome for newcomers.  

“I am grateful to Alight for the tremendous support, the constant contact with the Alight Guides made me feel confident going through all the steps for the move. The incredible warm welcome at the airport made me feel at home. I was accompanied every step of the way and I have faith that with that kind of support everything will be fine.  

I never thought I would be a refugee. I realize that being a refugee is not just a status, it is a part of my history that has taught me to appreciate the simple things I have.  

Adapting to a new country can be difficult.  

You become like a child. You learn again how to use public transportation, how to open a bank account, how to make an appointment with a doctor. I really miss my family and friends. Sometimes it is a challenge.  I am happy to have met such kind and empathetic people at Alight. I feel like they really care about me, and it gives me confidence in the future. I finally feel the ground under my feet. For the first time since the beginning of the war, I was able to unpack my bags and even my backpack with the most important documents. I finally feel safe. Living in a foreign country is a constant struggle and adaptation, but I believe that with Alight’s wonderful support and optimism I will be able to create a new life and contribute to society.  

I am grateful to the Alight program for its support and grateful to the United States for the opportunities provided. I am happy to be here.”

Now, Yuliia finally feels safe and she’s ready to start a new chapter in her life. She looks forward to reuniting with her family and continuing to build a secure future in her new home.  

We stand with Yuliia and all displaced people across the globe. Their strength, resilience, and hope inspire us all. Together, we can create a world where everyone feels safe, valued, and has a chance to contribute to their community.

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