Yuliia Chepysheva: A Participant From Ukraine

  Written by Yuliia Chepysheva

When we were landing seven years ago, I saw Philadelphia from a high altitude. It was golden and full of light. My first impression was delight and enchantment because it was my first flight experience in life, and such a scope with a huge golden city. Of course, within my time in Philadelphia, I was met with moments of difficulties and disappointments. Eventually, with patience, strength, and an amazing support system, I started to overcome difficult barriers, like language.

Now, I feel that I belong here – in this city and in this community.

My name is Yuliia Chepysheva. Originally, I am from Ukraine. I came to Philadelphia 7 years ago to reunite with my husband. I am a pharmacist, as well as a full-time mom of three wonderful kids.

During the last seven years I stayed at home and took care of them, and only now am I able to continue my career journey. I love reading because I believe that it is one of the most efficient and useful ways to acquire knowledge, to spend your free time, and to relax. Another part of me is doing arts, embroidery stitching in particular.

My first encounter with The Welcoming Center was through the Let’s Talk Philly project. By chance, I found them on the Facebook page, and that is how our friendship started. At that time, it was crucial for me to find people with whom I could hone my speaking skills, and Let’s Talk Philly absolutely met my expectations and even beyond that. It opened a window to the community for me. I met new people from all around the world, shared my experience, and learned a bunch of new information.

The most important thing is that I became more confident as a non-native speaker, and a happier person.

The thing about The Welcoming Center is that you constantly stay connected. Whether it’s to greet each other during the holiday season, participate in new events, share resources, or even become a facilitator– we always stay in touch.

I learned different things from TWC. The most outstanding one is being useful to the community by participating in the different events and activities. For this reason, I am happy to be engaged in various programs. Moreover, I use many resources for self-studying that TWC provides us access to. I am immensely grateful for that! I was using these resources to practice for the TOEFL test that measures English proficiency level. I need it for my career purposes to transfer my Ukrainian diploma, and to get a pharmacy license here, in the United States. I am still waiting for the results, but I can definitely know that I will not step down from this road, and I will nail this exam one day.

I know that finding The Welcoming Center was a pivotal moment in my life because it changed my perception of being an immigrant.

I am convinced that a person can adapt and start building a successful life even though they need to leave their Motherland and travel far away to find their place and new home. I will be happy to continue working with The Welcoming Center and to be a part of the community. I will try my best to share things I know with others.