“Wherever you are, try hard”

“Wherever you are, try hard”

These words of encouragement from Come Zee, a recently-resettled Burmese refugee at World Relief Seattle, are not surprising. She is full of positivity and optimism, and her bright smile cheers any room. After meeting her, you just know that she is going to be successful in whatever endeavors she pursues.

She arrived to the United States in July 2014 by herself, and joined friends who had already been resettled to south King County. After just over two months of faithfully attending English and job preparation classes at World Relief, Come Zee found a job and started working at Real Foods, a food production company located in Kent, WA.20100930-DSC_3895

Again, it wasn’t surprising to learn that Come Zee had become a production lead just two months after she was hired in the production department. She says that being a lead is like doing a double job – she has to be very careful while labeling and completing paperwork or else the products they work with may be recalled. Her accuracy and sense of responsibility are a tremendous asset to the company.

“I love my job,” Come Zee says. It’s a short commute from her home, and she is able to save money, especially with her promotion to lead. Her work schedule is flexible, so she plans to go back to school to improve her English skills after she gets her driver’s license.20100928-DSC_2894

After spending 17 years in a refugee camp in Thailand, Come Zee recognizes that the life she now lives would not be possible had she not had the opportunity to come to the United States. As a refugee in Thailand, she was limited in mobility, education, and employment opportunities – all of which she now has access to in her new community.

When asked about how she would encourage other recently-arrived refugees, she had quite a list to share. Encourage yourself. Know who you are. Focus on what you imagine your future to be like, but do your best in the present.

Come Zee, we are thankful for your example, and hope for the very best for you!


If you are interested in hiring a refugee to benefit your company, please visit http://worldreliefseattle.org/employarefugee

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