Slide “I believe that diversity makes this country great
— at our dinner table and in our workforce.”
— Claudia Soares, Partnership and Volunteer Program Lead,
Upwardly Global
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Our Partnership

Infinite Global, an international communications firm specializing in PR, Branding and Content, is proud to support Upwardly Global, a national nonprofit that supports immigrant and refugee professionals in rebuilding careers and lives in high-demand industries in the United States.

Zach Olsen, President at Infinite Global, has served as a volunteer with Upwardly Global. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. and cities issued all-hands-on-deck calls for essential workers to contribute their skills, Zach saw the opportunity for the firm to elevate awareness about Upwardly Global’s work and mission.

Since its founding in 2000, Upwardly Global has supported thousands of work-authorized, college-educated immigrants and refugees in rebuilding lives and careers. Half of Upwardly Global’s candidates come to the U.S. with experience in health care, IT, logistics, and other STEM fields, essential industries in our fight against COVID-19 and for economic recovery in the years ahead.

Upwardly Global offers coaching, mentoring, networking, and skill-building programs to immigrant and refugee job seekers, while also partnering with employers to build equitable hiring practices that build diverse, resilient workforces.

At the height of the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, Infinite Global began providing pro bono support to Upwardly Global, assisting with media outreach to increase awareness of the shortage of healthcare workers battling the pandemic, and the opportunity to leverage the skills and experience of the estimated 165,000 internationally-trained healthcare professionals that live in the U.S. Upwardly Global’s work has appeared in national and local media, as well as healthcare trade publications.

Meet the “Chefs”

Daryna Marchenko-Bernhardt

Senior Development Associate, Upwardly Global

When I moved to the U.S., I had no illusions that building a life in a new country would be easy. Everything from making new friends to making meals was hard — but most challenging for me was entering the professional workforce.

Back in Ukraine, I was an accomplished non-profit professional with several degrees and more than eight years of experience working for one of the most reputable public health NGOs in the country. My demanding work schedule meant I never spent much time preparing meals for my family, which is a big deal in my home country.

After I moved to the U.S., connecting with my Ukrainian roots became a higher priority. I significantly improved my cooking skills thanks to numerous calls with my family — especially my mom, who now lives with me here in the U.S. Every Ukrainian family has their own recipe for borscht, and this is hers. I love the way that beets, potatoes and water mix together to become one bright symphony.

I’m happy to share that my career prospects have also improved here in the US. I initially connected with Upwardly Global as a job seeker, and have been a member of the staff for eight years now. It’s an honor to give back to this organization that helped give me a fresh start.

Mahlet Mamo

National Account Manager, Jobversity, Upwardly Global

I immigrated to the U.S. about four years ago from Ethiopia. For the first couple of years, one of the most difficult things for me was getting used to American food. Ethiopian food is known to be well-flavored and spicy cuisine, and I missed the flavors and textures in the U.S. Over time I learned how to cook Ethiopian food with modified recipes and ingredients available here, and I’m happy to share my version of Misir Wat, one of the most popular vegan dishes in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian cuisine includes an abundance of vegan dishes because of the influence of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which teaches people to avoid eating animal products for 200+ days of the year. This has resulted in healthy eating habits for the population.

Misir Wat is one of the most popular vegan dishes in Ethiopia. The best way to eat this recipe is with injera, or Ethiopian flatbread, which is the base of most Ethiopian meals — and with a group of family or friends. We use injera and our fingers to eat the food. The practice makes us closer to the food and to each other.

I’ve been connected to Upwardly Global for about four years — first as a job seeker, and now as a full-time staff member. This role allows me to continue my work as a fervent advocate for immigrants and refugees, and to help realize the promise of opportunity for newcomers.

Claudia Soares

Partnership and Volunteer Program Lead

We eat Pao de Queijo almost every day in Brazil. It’s a pretty common food. But this recipe is special. It’s from my Aunt Maria Helena, perfected after 30 years of her experimenting with different ingredients and formats.

Now that I live in the U.S., I make this bread when I’m feeling homesick. It’s one of the ways I’m working to rebuild my life and identity here.

When I came to this country, I also needed to rebuild my career. I love food and cooking, so it’s fitting that my first job in the U.S. was at a coffee shop and restaurant. But with an MBA and 14 years of professional experience from Brazil, I knew I could do more.

Upwardly Global gave me the tools and coaching to tackle my US job search with confidence. I love this organization — so much so, that I’m now a staff member! I’m thrilled to be able to pay it forward, supporting others who are rebuilding lives here in the U.S. I believe that diversity makes this country great — at our dinner table and in our workforce.

Fahad Alnimah

Program Manager, Upwardly Global

I came to the U.S. from Iraq in 2016, a single dad to a young daughter. I needed to learn so many things about this new country — and I also had to learn how to cook! I started looking for recipes from home. It was a way to connect with home, and also with family and friends. Long-distance phone calls about food are the best!

This recipe comes from my mother. Halwa is an easy-to-make dessert, sweet and surprisingly nutritious. Iraqi cuisine is a mix of flavors from many different cultures, and Halwa is no different. It’s popular in many Middle Eastern countries, and also parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Learning to cook was easy compared to learning how to navigate the U.S. job market. I was fortunate to connect with Upwardly Global. The support I received not only transformed my life but my daughter’s as well. Now I’m proud to work for Upwardly Global and try my very best to support many others in restarting their careers in the U.S. If we all work together, we all succeed.

About Upwardly Global

There are some 2 million immigrants and refugees currently in the United States who have college degrees from their home countries and professional experience, but are unemployed or working far below their skill level. Upwardly Global’s mission is to eliminate employment barriers for immigrant and refugee professionals, and integrate this population into the U.S. workforce so that they can contribute to our country and build a shared future.

Watch our recent Virtual Gala:

Building A Stronger America For All

For 20 years, Upwardly Global has been building opportunity for immigrants and refugees and for our country. We connect and mentor immigrant professionals and help employers to tap into the vast skills, talents and potential that they bring.

Immigrants are a crucial part of our nation and vital to our future. Help us to take the tangible steps that can integrate immigrants into the workforce and open the door of opportunity for all Americans.