Rwandan Genocide Survivor reinvents career in Loma Linda
Loma Linda, CA – Liberata Ashilevi was a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide who immigrated to the United States as a refugee. As a resident of Loma Linda, she turned to the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board’s America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) for help with building her career. Today she enjoys working in the Loma Linda University Medical Center Operating Room caring for others.
Though she was a certified physician’s assistant in Zambia, Liberata took a housekeeping job when she arrived in the United States. When she was laid off from this position, she felt she had nowhere to turn.
“When I was laid off, I panicked,” Liberata exclaimed. “When I arrived at the San Bernardino America’s Job Center of California and met their staff, I became hopeful about my future.”
Workforce Development Specialist Nidia Vargas was assigned to handle Liberata’s case. The two women soon formed a bond that Liberata says is everlasting.
At the AJCC, Liberata received career counseling, and help with her job search, resume, and interview skills. The Workforce Development Board also provided funding for her to earn her Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) certificate, to put her on a new career path, and assisted with travel to classes and job interviews.
As a result of the service she received, Liberata was well prepared to answer questions volleyed to her by the Loma Linda University Medical Center Operating Room Technician position interview panel. Her first call to share the good news was to Nidia at the AJCC.
“It is always heartening to hear success stories such as Liberata’s,” said San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “It is validation that the County is serving its residents well, and working to attain countywide prosperity.”
Liberata has already received a promotion and looks forward to a successful career. She has embraced the American Dream with a contagious exuberance.
“Our staff’s care and concern for the people we are helping lends to successful outcomes for job seekers,” said Workforce Development Board Executive Director Sandy Harmsen. “This is an example of how our staff members are truly dedicated to helping others achieve their goals.”