Life as a refugee has been confusing and isolating for Krishna, but it has also provided him incredible perspective and determination. In the four years he has lived in Utah, Krishna has gone from struggling to learn a strange language and culture in ESL classes to becoming a full time college student and, with the help of AAU’s employment services, an employee at Intermountain Medical Center (IMC).
The confusion Krishna experienced traveling to this strange desert only intensified as he began classes at East high school half way through the school year.
It was quite hard when I began there. Some of the students would start laughing at me when I was giving a presentation or talking and that made me so nervous. I was thinking if you knew my language that would make me happy, but you don’t know my language.
Despite his challenges, Krishna was determined to improve his English and help improve his family’s living conditions. Living in an apartment with unreliable electricity, Krishna soon found a job at Deseret Industries where he insisted working with English speakers in order to practice his language skills.
Hoping to overcome these difficulties, Krishna began looking into AAU’s employment resources. It was so easy… They went through everything step by step with me—what you do, work history, everything.
Most places they just tell you there is a job open and you should go and apply, but if you’re coming in for the first time you don’t even know what you need or what buses to take. But it was different with Zhiwei . . . He even took me to Jordan Commons and helped me meet with them.
With the help of the skills and experience he gained through AAU, Krishna secured his current job at IMC where he hopes to become a certified phlebotomist within the next year.
Being a refugee has been eye opening… It was difficult to come out of that situation and hard coming over here where people think different and do so many things different, but I love being here.
With an easy laugh and almost constant smile, Krishna has learned to love life in a new country, even with its continually shifting difficulties, opportunities, and constant with the help of the skills and experience he gained through AAU work.