A Philadelphia Immigrant’s Story About Building Confidence and Finding Meaningful Employment

Abigail grew up in northeast China, went to college in Bejing, and began her career working in education and training. After getting married in 2011, Abigail began to search for a job in Philadelphia, where her husband had been earning his PhD and working for years. Unable to move, Abigail remained in Bejing and began volunteering for a nonprofit in the United States. After a few months of volunteering, the NGO offered Abigail a job and an H1-b visa allowing her to move to Philadelphia with her husband.

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Pictured: Abigail

As her son grew older and began having questions about his identity Abigail wanted to engage in both American and Chinese cultures.

In 2013, Abigail’s life changed as she and her husband welcomed their son into this world. Since moving to the United States, Abigail had spent the majority of her time where she felt most comfortable, in the Chinese community, but, as her son grew older and began having questions about his identity Abigail wanted to engage in both American and Chinese cultures. She started a mother’s group and worked on different projects such as Chinese storytime at the library, teaching Mandarin at Germantown Friends School, and establishing Funyard Chinese Culture Center, a center to promote Chinese and American Culture Exchange.

Today, Abigail is an IPP Ambassador, allowing her to help others in the program that not only helped her get a new job but, helped her gain confidence as a Chinese immigrant living in America.

When talking to the mother of one of her son’s classmates, Abigail expressed that she was looking to volunteer and the mother connected Abigail with the Welcoming Center. On her first visit to the Welcoming Center, Abigail learned about the services we offer to help immigrants living in Philadelphia and applied to volunteer with us. At the time, we did not have a volunteering opportunity that matched Abigail’s skills but, after learning about her schooling and past work experience we identified her as a perfect candidate for the International Professionals Program, a program aimed at helping foreign-educated professionals find professional employment.

She jumped right into the program and with support of the Welcoming Center and fellow classmates, Abigail landed a new job that she loves working for at the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. Today, Abigail is an IPP Ambassador, allowing her to help others in the program that not only helped her get a new job but, helped her gain confidence as a Chinese immigrant living in America.

Support the women and men like Abigail who the Welcoming Center helps every day.

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