Working Hard Toward Better Lives
Tags: ESL | family | immigrants | Nepal | Northlands | Northlands Job Corps Academy | refugees | Vermont

Working Hard Toward Better Lives


(L-R) Lakpa Tamang, Phul Pokhrel and Phul's son Austin visited Northlands recently to say hello.

When Phul Pokhrel and her brother Lakpa Tamang came from Nepal to Vermont in 2009, they had no work and spoke little English. They were referred to Job Corps for the opportunity to make their lives better.

What happened next is a case study in Job Corps success.

“When we first came to Northlands, we didn’t know the language or the culture,” Lakpa said. “We learned a little every day, day by day. We had so much help and encouragement from our teachers.”

“Our teachers were amazing,” Phul added. “Not only were they constantly inspiring us, they were so helpful in easing the transition from Nepalese culture to American culture. It’s so different in the U.S., it was almost like being a newborn at first!”

Both Phul and Lakpa studied hard, receiving their LNA (Licensed Nursing Assistant) certifications a year later. They also got their driver’s licenses and high school diplomas at Northlands.

Even more, they each received $1,200 upon graduation which they used to purchase cars.

“I got hired within a week of getting my license,” Phul said. Both she and Lakpa work at a nursing home in Burlington.

“It’s made me so independent,” Lakpa said. “Without Northlands I’d probably be doing housekeeping. It helped me so much. We lived with relatives in Burlington, and Northlands would pick us up and drop us off every day. And the teachers did so much. They even worked with us on job interviewing skills.”

Both Phul and Lakpa have encouraged others they know to check out Northlands. In fact, another brother is currently studying Auto Techonogies here.

“If people want to make their lives better, they should come to Northlands” Phul said. “We did.”

Lakpa added, “Thank you Job Corps!”



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