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Upwardly Global Passport to Possibilities Event

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Collection of photos and exhibit from Upwardly Global Chicago's inaugural fundraiser in 2010. Passport to Possibilities: Portraits from the Journey.

Collection of photos and exhibit from Upwardly Global Chicago's inaugural fundraiser in 2010. Passport to Possibilities: Portraits from the Journey.

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  • 1. Upwardly Global
    presents
    Passport to Possibilities:
    Portraits from the Journey
    Portraits by Ben Syverson
    October 15, 2010
    Chicago, IL
  • 2. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 3. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 4. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 5. AchilleNgoma
    AchilleNgoma has been interviewed twice since coming to the United States from the Congo. Both times, a college student has asked the questions and crafted a story from his responses. Both times, Achille has ached to be the one asking the questions.
    “Every time I see somebody anchoring, reporting, videotaping, I just think about myself doing this back home,” Achille says.
    Journalism started for Achille as a boy sitting next to the radio while the man on the other end described a soccer match. Achille wanted to open the radio up to find the man inside but his father told him that the man wasn’t really there. His voice had traveled to them on tiny waves from the capital city, where the man was really speaking. Achille liked this.
    “One day I told my father I wanted to be like this guy speaking on the radio,” Achille says.
    Years later, Achille attended MarienNgouabi University and studied in one of the best journalism programs in the country. It was his voice and face traveling to TV sets across the country. He anchored, reported and produced for public television. But he didn’t stop there. He saw a need to break through the apathy felt by the youth in his country and he did something that had never been done before.
  • 6. Through public television, he brought real discussions about real issues affecting teens to living rooms all across the Congo.
    But in 1997, civil war broke out and everything changed. Abruptly, Achille had become a target. He had worked briefly as a press officer for the overthrown president and now the militia was tracking down and killing people who had served in the government. After two years of staring out at viewers from the screen, Achille could easily be recognized.
    Achille went into hiding. Nine years later, he came to the U.S. as a refugee. He now lives in an apartment in Rogers Park and absorbs journalism in the United States. Live coverage, whether of soccer games, congressional meetings or accident scenes, fascinates him. In the Congo, he says, stations rarely have the technology to report live.
    But his days practicing journalism are only a memory for now. In his living room, in the glow of a soccer game, Achille looks back on the little boy trying to open up the radio to find the sportscaster inside. “It’s like remembering a dream I couldn’t achieve, but I became a journalist,” Achille says. “Journalism is my life.”
    Zoe Jennings
    Working with Upwardly Global
    For Achille, the key to practicing journalism in the United States requires overcoming multiple barriers:  How do you practice journalism in a new language?  Is further education a pathway?  To continue his education, Achille must access his transcript from his university in the Congo, and that means dealing with a hostile government to access records in a non-computerized system.  Upwardly Global encourages all immigrant professionals to get their credentials evaluated in order to make it easier for U.S. employers to understand a candidate’s foreign degree.  However, as Achille’s struggle attests, this process is often engulfed by red tape. Achille is currently in the process of applying to a master’s program in journalism at a local university.
  • 7. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 8. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 9. Ethel Benigno
    Ethel Benigno immigrated to Chicago from Manila, Philippines in July 2009, to get to know a man whom she hadn’t seen for over 15 years – her father. Ethel’s parents separated when she was a young child and she hadn’t seen her father since she was five years old.
    Despite having a finance career she loved, a strong relationship with her older brother and mother and a tight circle of friends in the Philippines, Ethel left for a country she had never even visited.
    “I just packed a day before I left. I didn’t really want to go,” Ethel recalls. “But then I thought, there’s a part of me that wanted to know my father so I have to do it.”
    Ethel’s transition to life in Chicago has been difficult, but not because she didn’t understand the city. She spent the month before her move from the Philippines researching and learning everything she could about Chicago: city attractions, cultural norms, Master’s programs, public transportation.
    After arriving in Chicago, Ethel found the fast-paced atmosphere a stark contrast to the laid back attitude in Manila. She’s found work for now as an operations specialist for PNC Bank. In addition to working 10 hours a day, four days a week with the bank, Ethel is pursuing her MBA at Argosy University.
  • 10. She found help dealing with her professional challenges. What she couldn’t know was how she was going to begin building a relationship with her father.
    The turning point in Ethel’s relationship with her father came when he was laid off from his job this past year. These days instead of traveling around the country, Ethel’s father keeps his travels closer to home as he drives Ethel, who is still in the process of getting a drivers license, to and from work.
    “The reason why I don’t want to take my license [is] because when I get my license, I won’t have time to just talk to him like that,” Ethel says.
    It’s these moments they share in the car that Ethel has treasured most since arriving in America. Solidifying a father-daughter relationship, Ethel proceeds one car ride at a time.
    Katie Tang
    Working with Upwardly Global
    As a young immigrant professional, Ethel had many questions about her career path in the U.S. While she had the skills and professional experience that she needed to get a job, she was unsure of where to look and how to present herself. Many immigrant professionals are similarly unsure about the value of their experience when compared to other U.S. candidates. After the process of moving and adapting to a new life, immigrant job seekers often feel insecure about their achievements and capabilities. Upwardly Global works to restore their confidence and affirm the value of their past experience. For Ethel, this affirmation and direction allowed her to understand how she could become a more competitive candidate. Armed with the job search tools she needs to restart her career, Ethel moves forward confidently with the hope of a better future.
  • 11. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 12. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 13. Gaby Sanmiguel
    When she was a child, Gaby Sanmiguel dreamed of donning a sharp business suit and walking into her office with the confidence of a seasoned professional. She wanted to be just like her mother, a well-educated working woman.
    Born in the U.S. while her parents were studying here on scholarships, Gaby returned to Venezuela with her parents when she was four years old. “I’ve always felt I have one foot here and one foot there.” Back in Venezuela, Gaby’s parents immersed her in the pieces of American culture they brought back with them. Gaby’s life in Venezuela was a happy one, but she longed for more. She wanted to study in the U.S. just as her parents had, so she applied to colleges in the U.S. and got accepted. But it was too expensive and her family’s own financial future become uncertain as the economy began to deteriorate, along with basic freedoms, under the Chavez regime.
    “Families are being destroyed [in Venezuela], all the young professionals are leaving the country, the speech is violent; it’s such a damaged place and that’s so sad.”
    While finishing college in Venezuela, Gaby visited her brother in Costa Rica and got a glimpse of life outside the borders of her wounded country.
  • 14. Propelled by the hope for a safer and better future, she moved to Costa Rica. In the beautiful oasis of a wildlife refuge and resort, Gaby fulfilled her professional dream and became a successful marketing manager for the resort hotel. She thrived and led the hotel through rebranding and improving sales strategies. But even in that peaceful refuge, her birthplace tugged at her heart and mind. She wanted the best opportunities for her 3-year-old son and, to Gaby, that meant moving to the U.S.
    “I’m an American. I have this opportunity for my family, I had to give it a chance. There was no turning back, I sold everything, even my forks and knives.” In May 2010 Gaby moved to Chicago and left her most precious belongings, her husband and son, behind so that she could establish a life in the U.S. and go through the proper legal channels to bring her family here.
    Gaby achieved her dream once and she’s confident she’ll do it again. Her impeccable English and unwavering positive attitude won’t hurt. But what really motivates her is staying focused on her latest goal. “The day I see my son and husband step off that plane to be with me here in the U.S., that’s what I’m doing this for.”
    April Djakoniya
    Working with Upwardly Global
    Gaby’s confidence, attitude and professional acumen caught the attention of a large global company based in Chicagoland. Through Upwardly Global networks, she was introduced to the right people and had entered the final stages of the interview process. However, the separation of a mother from her family proved to be too much even for Gaby’s strong character and circumstances demanded that she recently return to Costa Rica. Many Upwardly Global candidates experience similar familial strains upon settling in the U.S. This burden adds to the challenge of re-acclimating professionally, making it even more difficult to feel “at home” in America. Upwardly Global works to help newcomers find support systems in Chicago to help them transition more smoothly.
    Gaby looks forward to the day she can return to the U.S. with her entire family and resume pursuit of her career ambitions. Upwardly Global believes she will make immeasurable contributions to a global company or organization that, like Gaby, has high standards and strives to achieve the best.
  • 15. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 16. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 17. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 18. Helen Yu
    Helen Yu 28, never imagined she would be living in America. “I’d always dreamed that if I ever lived abroad it would be in Australia.” But her heart had different ideas when Helen met her husband, a Chicago native who was sent to China to set up their company’s computer systems in the China office, where Helen worked in human resources.
    Leaving China was scary but Helen and her husband agreed that there was more opportunity for both of them in the U.S.
    Upon Helen’s arrival in Chicago, her husband took a week off of work to help her adjust, get to know the city and introduce her to friends and family.
    But the first several weeks, Helen was afraid to go out on her own, lacking confidence in her English.
    Her first job in Chicago was as a customer service specialist in a small manufacturing company. “They didn’t have a human resource department, so I knew there was no way for me to advance my career there.” After three years with this company, Helen decided to take what felt like a big risk and pursue her human resource career.
  • 19. “In China, when looking for a job, you apply online. [In the US] when you apply online you may not get a response. Here the networking is so much more important,” says Helen. Helen found Upwardly Global on LinkedIn and applied to participate in the program. Within a week, she was invited to speak with Upwardly Global and take advantage of their services.
    Upwardly Global connected Helen with professionals and employers in her field. They also coached her on how to promote herself in an interview, encouraging her to speak up and display confidence. These opportunities, along with Helen’s professional certifications and previous work experience, helped her land her current human resource position in a national company based in Naperville.
    Now a U.S. green card holder, Helen has been residing in Chicago since 2006. She and her husband enjoy spending time together gardening in their front yard, a luxury she did not have in China. “I’d always dreamed of having a front and back yard – which I thought all Americans had.” Helen still misses her friends and family, but a quick trip to Chinatown helps to tide her over until her next visit home.
    Jessica Green
    Working with Upwardly Global
    The power of networking is often unknown to many immigrant professionals. In many cultures, the job search proceeds through familial connections or close personal friends. While this also holds true for Americans, the concept of professional networking is fairly unique to the U.S. Many Upwardly Global job seekers have never before attended a professional networking event—such as a mixer or cocktail hour—where professionals from the same field gather to meet each other. Helen quickly understood the importance of attending such events. She met her current employer at an Upwardly Global Employer Breakfast soon after she joined the program. Upwardly Global hosts employer networking events four times a year and frequently invites job seekers to attend industry-specific networking events hosted by various associations.
  • 20. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 21. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 22. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 23. NajimShuhayeb
    NajimShuhayeb spends his time of reflection at home sitting in front of his radio listening to smooth jazz, staring out the window and waiting.
    He envisions putting a camera in front of him, and communicating through film the memories evoked by the music he’s listening to.
    Najim reminisces about better times back in Iraq, when he was studying film at Baghdad University. As a student, he used film to explore the complex relationships between men and women. He also recalls the ten long years in the 1980s that he served in Iraq as a soldier and a reporter during the Iran-Iraq war. In his reporting, he used film to tell the stories of his people and of his fellow soldiers who died in the line of duty.  
    “God gives us pictures to explain our experiences, so you can’t explain a picture,” Najim explains. “The picture can explain itself.”
    Najim also remembers a more peaceful time when he used film and television as a way to rekindle his childhood through dubbing the voice of Ernie from the popular American children’s television series, Sesame Street. In the ‘90s, he was successful and happy, teaching film arts to students from the university level down to children’s theatre workshops. No matter what he has been doing, Najim has found joy through his devotion to film.   
         
  • 24. However, since moving to the United States on June 26, 2007, with his wife, three kids, and nothing more than two heavy bags full of his favorite books, Najim has not yet been given the opportunity to share his stories and images through film.   
                                                             
    “Let me be honest with you. I can’t be normal here without working in my field,” he says. “My field is art as a TV and movie director. Whatever I do, I do it successfully but I cannot persuade myself about [other] jobs. I need to go back to my profession. My profession is very important for my community, for our country... the United States.”
    Najim has applied to many colleges, universities, and major news networks in the Chicago area. So far he has not been offered a position.  But this hasn’t deterred Najim, as he tries to find programs to assist him in getting a graduate degree in film. Until then, he will keep collecting and storing his film ideas in anticipation of an outlet.
             
    CamareeTurman
    Working with Upwardly Global
    Upwardly Global’s mission is founded on the principle that when highly-skilled and experienced immigrant professionals are unemployed or underemployed in low-skill jobs, this constitutes a waste of talent. Najim’s experience as an art instructor, a television director, and an independent cinematic producer is grossly misaligned with his reality, in which his artistic vision sits untouched. In the U.S., Najim searches for an opportunity to create, produce, and improvise; he longs for his chance to contribute. Najim’s background as an artist with an in-depth understanding of Middle Eastern culture is invaluable at a time when the U.S. is so heavily involved in this area of the world. Upwardly Global has worked with Najim to advocate for an opportunity where he can contribute to society; together we are hopeful that we will find the path that will allow this artist’s voice to ring strong yet again.
  • 25. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 26. “Upwardly Global is an endless source of inspiration.”
    “Here, in a country where so much of our identity is wrapped up in ‘what we do for a living’ the struggle weighed on us.”
    “. . . our success in integrating the world’s talent will determine our ability to continue to attract it.”
    “. . . helped Chicago’s educated but struggling newcomers add over $1.1 million in income to their families and the tax base. . .”
    “Thank you for your continued passion for our cause.”
    Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 27. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 28. Larisa Posedel
    The night Larisa Posedel and friends decided, on a whim, to drive from Sweden to Germany to ring in the New Year changed everything. It was there she met her future husband, a copyright and trademark lawyer from Chicago.
    The then 26-year-old beta recovery systems manager had moved to Sweden for work and to experience life in another part of Europe – different from her home in Siberia. “Most Russians love to travel” says Larisa explaining that she had spent some time traveling before settling down in Sweden.
    After a year of courtship, Larisa couldn’t deny she’d fallen in love and accepted a proposal. With that came the decision to move to Chicago where her husband was permanently located. “Leaving Sweden was a big commitment because I would be leaving my job, my apartment, my parents.”
    Larisa and her husband married in April of 2009 and she quickly began to assimilate to American life. “It was easier to adjust in Sweden as the lifestyle is closer to my Russian culture.” But Larisa talks about the advantages of life in Chicago, such as the diverse and international circle of friends she’s found and the plethora of restaurants just a short walk from home. And she loves the freedom and independence that comes with driving.
  • 29. However, finding a job that utilized her many years of international work experience in computer science and business management was a harder task to accomplish. “If you don’t have an American education it is almost impossible to find work, even if you have honors from your home university; other internationals have the same problems,” says Larisa.
    Her big break came when she interviewed with PLANMECA USA, a Schaumburg-based, Finnish-owned company leading the world in dental equipment manufacturing. “The department head was Ukrainian.” explains Larisa. “Often the most challenging experience when interviewing is trying to represent yourself and why you are worth hiring over other Americans.” Larisa surmises that the department head had personal insight into her background, her education and her work experience and could verify that her qualifications made her the right candidate for the job.
    Even so, Larisa continues to dream one day of opening her own business allowing her more time to travel and more time to spend with her husband. “This is my dream.”
    Jessica Green
    Working with Upwardly Global
    For recent immigrants, the U.S. interviewing process can be quite confusing. Perhaps the most difficult part of the interview for foreign-educated professionals is the concept of “marketing yourself.” Larisa was fortunate to have a foreign-born interviewer who understood the advantages that Larisa could bring to the company. Many immigrant professionals are not as fortunate and struggle to convey their attributes in a formal interview. For many, discussing one’s accomplishments at length is culturally inappropriate. Upwardly Global works to help job seekers understand the importance of emphasizing one’s individual successes in the workplace. While job seekers may be reserved at first, they soon learn that to effectively communicate with U.S. employers in an interview, they must be assertive, provide data to support and contextualize their answers, and show pride in their individual achievements.
  • 30. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 31. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 32. Nelson Perilla
    Nelson Perilla describes his life in equal parts: “Two different worlds, 20 years… half and half.”
    Nelson worked for 10 years as a professional in his homeland, Bogota, Colombia, only to chase his dream to the U.S., arrive, and start all over again.
    When he finished high school in Colombia, he had no money for college, so he started working in a warehouse. He was promoted, and within a few years, he enrolled in college in business administration and successfully obtained a degree.
    The company he was working for at the time gave him an opportunity for an accounting job – the only position available. He went in dirty work clothes, because he had nothing else.
    “They saw that I want to do something different in my life, so they gave me a chance to work with them,” Nelson recalls. “And I started working in the accounting department. It was a pretty good job, and I was happy. I think moving from warehouse to office changed my life.”
    However, Nelson’s dream was to attain a master’s degree in business administration in the U.S. He came to Chicago, and immediately started studying English at Truman College. He read books in the library, watched television, went to the theater, did everything to assimilate to the language and culture.
  • 33. “First of all, you don’t speak the language,” Nelson explains. “You don’t know anything about the culture or the money or things like that. It’s another world, it’s like a wake-up.”
    Even though he was a professional, he had to start from scratch in the job world. He went for anything – and he ended up in a warehouse, again. He worked with people who had little education and no communication skills. Again, his supervisors saw a difference in him. But without language proficiency, he was like everyone else.
    Finally, after a few years, he rose to a higher position, but the economic downturn that hit the whole country affected him, as well. Though his company had promoted him to supervisor, it wasn’t in a position to give him the professional office job and status he had worked so hard to attain.
    “I’m looking for any opportunity to do something with my life,” he says. “I want to use my brain. I want to be a professional.”
    Luke Siuty
    Working with Upwardly Global
    The recession has affected all Americans in some way. For immigrant professionals, like Nelson, the slow economy has made the process of re-starting their careers even more of a struggle. Upwardly Global encourages our candidates and helps to search for professional opportunities, but success often cannot be achieved without outside support. One way volunteers, employers, and donors can help is by conducting an informational interview with a job seeker. During these brief meetings, job seekers get a rare chance to ask questions about trends in their industry, hear job-search advice specific to their field, and get professional referrals and connections. Nelson recently benefitted from the advice and direction he received from an Upwardly Global employer partner. As the economy begins to recover, Nelson is hopeful that the connections he has been establishing through informational interviews will begin to pay off.
  • 34. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 35. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 36. Monica Colfax
    Purely by chance, a former college classmate from her sociology program asked Monica Colfax to submit a proposal for development and implementation of an after-school program to be funded by the Colombian government. Her deadline for submission was the afternoon of that same day. Not only did she meet the deadline, her proposal was chosen and funded.
    “It’s different in Colombia. These programs were not common, people don’t trust the government, and funding meant only a small meal stipend for the program participants.”
    But Monica made it work. She knocked on doors and talked to parents, asked the local businesses for small donations and recruited volunteers to staff her program in four different towns. “You just have to be creative,” says Monica matter-of-factly.
    A self-proclaimed “geek” Monica wanted to keep learning and enrolled in a PhD program in Europe. This would allow her to take her talent for social service programming to the next level. The road to Europe took her through the U.S. where she eventually stayed.
    And she struggled. Once able to easily overcome formidable barriers to success, she now found it difficult to contend with everyday life in a new country, culture and language.
  • 37. “I’m a perfectionist and I was horrified of failing.” Monica recalls how fear eroded her confidence over the course of nearly ten years; she got in a rut and began to lose hope about her future. With her husband’s encouragement, Monica began taking courses and her spark for learning and making change was reignited. Shortly thereafter, she discovered Upwardly Global, as well.
    Today Monica is again building after-school programs, this time in Chicago with a local nonprofit, but still with limited resources. The resolve and creative problem solving she relied on in Colombia help her navigate a different but equally challenging professional environment here in the U.S.
    The intensity of work here has been an adjustment. “I always worked hard, but I always had time for my personal life. Here [in the U.S.] work comes first.” But Monica’s work is fulfilling now, so she doesn’t mind.
    Monica’s motivation comes from the kids and parents her programming serves. As long as they keep coming back, Monica believes the programs are working and she wants to be a part of making them happen.
    April Djakoniya
    Working with Upwardly Global
    Before Monica started working with Upwardly Global, she sent out her resume to dozens of employers. Every time, she got no response. At Monica’s first workshop with Upwardly Global, she learned that American employers operate under strict laws regarding discrimination. These laws are such that employers fear being sued for hiring individuals based on religious, ethnic, racial or similar identification. Monica realized that her common practice of including a photograph and personal information on her resume was disqualifying her as a candidate. After learning how to tailor her resume for specific jobs, Monica continued to use her resourcefulness to find the right opportunity in her new country. Now, Monica enthusiastically offers her advice to new job seekers in the Upwardly Global program.
  • 38. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 39. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 40. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 41. Sarah holds two separate jobs and works 47 hours a week while taking four college-level courses. Tiago is a full-time student in a master’s program at the Illinois Institute of Technology. And, in their commitment to improve their English-speaking skills, they rarely speak their native Portuguese to each other even in the confines of their home. Sarah now even dreams in English!
    Sarah relishes her safe environment in Chicago. “I would never use my cell phone on the streets in my native city – someone would steal it right out of my hand.” Because theft is a constant danger in the Brazilian cities, she rarely carried a purse or laptop, and both Sarah and Tiago marvel at how comfortable people are on the streets of Chicago.
    The poverty in Chicago and the U.S. surprised Sarah and Tiago. “Our friends in Brazil think everyone is rich in America.” But their biggest surprise since moving here is the poor service they receive from the utility companies. “Sure, we had the same problems at home, but this is the U.S. – you are supposed to have the best service, and we thought here the clients always come first.”
    Jane Beatty
    Working with Upwardly Global
    For many Upwardly Global job seekers, the reality of living in America is much different from the ideals of the American Dream. Part of the process of adjusting to life in the U.S. is realizing that many preconceived notions about the U.S. are gross generalizations. For immigrant professionals, this transition can prove even more challenging as they adjust not only to everyday life, but also to a culturally different workplace. In Sarah and Tiago’s case, this stark difference applies to academic life as well. In most cases, very few immigrant professionals foresee the challenges that they will face as newcomers in the U.S. Sarah and Tiago luckily have each other to confide in when faced with new cultural oddities. Upwardly Global serves as a resource for job seekers both before and after they have entered the U.S. workplace to ensure that any misperceptions in conflict with reality can be explained and demystified.
  • 42. Tiago Silva and Sarah Wald
    When Tiago came to the United States from Brazil three years ago, he planned to spend a couple of months honing his English-speaking skills and then return home. But during his short stay in Chicago, Tiago met the love of his life, Sarah, also a Brazilian.
    The two met on a one-day bus trip to a Midwestern ski resort. Neither can remember where they skied, but they vividly remember the bus trip. Tiago returned to Brazil, and the two continued a long-distance romance for a year and a half before getting married.
    Sarah came to Chicago because she dreamed of working for an international company and knew, like Tiago, she had to improve her English. She stays here because sometimes “you have to take a risk” and follow your belief that life will be better in a different part of the world. Tiago is in Chicago for the same reasons, and, well, because Sarah is here!
    Tiago and Sarah love Chicago, but still find there are challenges to living and working here. Sarah discovered that, even though their language skills are solid and both hold college degrees, as immigrants, there is a stereotype and “life is not as easy as you think.”
    Still, Sarah and Tiago persevere and are dedicated to preparing themselves for careers in the U.S.
  • 43. Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 44. Ben Syverson, Portrait Photographer
    Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 45. The Event Committee, Staff and Volunteers
    Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 46. The Chicago Leadership Council
    Photo Credit: Christina Noel Photography
  • 47. Upwardly Globalis a 501(c)(3) organization that helps work-authorized immigrants, refugees and asylees to move out of poverty by accessing professional positions in the mainstream U.S. workforce. In their home countries these new Americans were engineers, accountants, educators, scientists, and doctors. In the U.S. they are nannies, cab drivers, fast food workers and security guards. To assist these foreign-born professionals in re-entering their careers, Upwardly Global teaches them how to conduct an effective professional job search in the U.S. and network with U.S. employers. Upwardly Global has won multiple awards for its innovative and effective two-way model for workforce immigrant integration. A national organization, Upwardly Global opened its Chicago office in 2009.
    Passport to Possibilities: Portraits from the Journey was the inaugural fundraiser for Upwardly Global Chicago. The event was a celebration of cultural diversity, global connections and the opportunities America has to offer. The evening featured a portrait exhibit that frames the many different faces of Chicago’s new Americans. The images, paired with the individuals’ own words, offered a unique opportunity to experience these stories of courage, resilience and success.
    Ben Syverson, the portrait photographer, is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His portraits were shot with a custom large format 8x10 camera and printed with astounding clarity to provide a sensitive but unflinching look at the brave face of professionals in Chicago’s contemporary immigrant community.
    Jack Doppelt, founder of immigrantconnect.org provided storytelling guidance and the talents of his Northwestern University journalism students to help record the personal stories featured.
    Thank you to all volunteers, attendees, donors and sponsors who helped make the evening possible!
  • 48. Signature Sponsors:
    The Duchossois Family Foundation
    Kim Duchossois
    Passport Sponsors:
    Janet and Craig Duchossois
    Jessica and Dominic Green
    Ashley Joyce
    David Lassiter and Todd Harding
    Tyler Lenczuk
    The Struckmeyer Family
    Special thanks to Epoch Floral for donation of the beautiful gallery
    and EventCreative for the exhibit lighting.
  • 49. Get Involved with Upwardly Global
    • Volunteer at a resume or mock interview workshop
    • 50. Become a mentor
    • 51. Attend a networking event
    • 52. Join our network of employer partners
    • 53. Spread the word about Upwardly Global
    • 54. Make a donation
    To learn more about the need for our work, the organization and how you can take part, contact us.
    312.431.1923 | www.upwardlyglobal.org
    330 S. Wells Street | Suite 204 | Chicago, IL 60606