When ReWA moved into SeaTac CityHall back in 2019, Liban (pronounced “LEE-ban”) stopped by the Open House to say hello. He said, “I used to be in the youth program, and now I work full time for the city.” An Information Systems Technician, Liban, helps keep the city’s IT infrastructure operating and provides friendly customer service to City workers.
When Liban was 15 years old, he came to the US. He spoke no English and was enrolled in the Seattle World School, where immigrant and refugee youth learn English before transferring to their local high school. “Not speaking English, it was scary; not knowing how to ask a question I had to find people who spoke Somali and make friends. But I learned to face challenges.”
Liban was also introduced to ReWA’s Youth summer program, which focused on community service and classroom activities. “Besides classroom activities, we helped delivered food and toiletries to a homeless tent city in Tukwila. That was my favorite thing: to help people in need.”
After a year and a half, Liban transferred to Chief Sealth High School. After graduation he studied Information Technology at South Seattle College, then connected to Year Up, a job training and internship program. This led to an IT internship at Seattle Children’s Hospital where he had on-the-job training.
“I also learned about customer services. When people have a problem with IT, they can get frustrated. I learned to not take it personally—it is the system they are frustrated with.” Liban is still taking more IT classes online and brings optimism and determination to his future. He said, “Work hard, never give up. Be openminded of the challenges coming your way. If you don’t face challenges–you won’t have success.”
[box]Job-Readiness Training and After-School programs: ReWA’s Youth programs help youth get jobs and stay connected to learning and community with online after-school programs in STEM and the Arts for youth in grades 3-5th, and High School ages, 16-23. Contact Alexis@rewa.org to register.
Post-Secondary Success: Have you thought about going to college? ReWA can help you apply for college and find internships and ways to pay for higher education. Email Alicia@rewa.org to find out more. [/box]