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Meet A New Minnesotan : Samander

In a moment, at 21 years old, Samander’s life changed forever. With just two weeks to prepare, he learned that his family was to be evacuated from Afghanistan to the United States. He was lucky – his mother, father and siblings would all be going with him. But his uncle would have to stay behind. If you yourself are a US-born citizen, can you imagine leaving everything you know and fleeing half-way around the world? Samander is just one of the more than 1,200 Afghan evacuees who now call Minnesota home.

“I had never been outside Afghanistan before,” says Samander. “I worked as a financial manager at a legal office and had been going to university for two years. Then we lost everything.” At first, his university English classes were not enough to navigate conversational
English in the U.S. “After seven months in New Jersey, my English is much better as I speak it all the time now,” states Samander.

The family’s NJ case manager told them they would be permanently resettled in Minnesota. “My first thought was ‘Oh it is so cold,’ but it is worth all the opportunities that I see. But like anything, I needed help to guide me on what to do.”

The Challenge to Find Work

The first task was to get a job. “I had to help support my family, but I wasn’t finding any success in finance or accounting.” At Daily Work, his case manager introduced him to Seagate. “I get to work with computers and use my math,” says Samander. “I’m a manufacturing specialist and excited that Seagate will help pay for my education. Once I’m settled I will apply, transfer my university credits, and finish my degree in software engineering.”

Daily Work also helped Samander take behind-the-wheel driving lessons and set him up with a TECI laptop computer – some basic tools and skills needed to navigate his new life. “All of these things have been very helpful, but the networking part, introducing me to Seagate, was the most helpful.” “When we first came here, it was so difficult to think about the future. Now everything is clear, and I’m happy to see all of my opportunities to support my family and continue my education.”

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