Stories

Community impact: discovering the American Dream

December 19, 2017 / Montana

Picture this: You come to America, speak limited English, and have to rebuild your life because the one you just left you can never return to. This happens every day for thousands of refugees escaping persecution and violence, hoping to find a safe home for their families in the US.

Removing barriers through transportation

Being able to easily get from point A to point B is something we often take for granted. However, for those who dedicate long hours of their day commuting, walking, and transferring on public transit, accessible and convenient transportation is a luxury. That’s where we come in.

Through Uber’s Community Impact Initiative, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Seattle is able to provide free rides for refugees who need to get to work, attend classes, or meet with their volunteer career mentors.

Minoo was one such beneficiary. Last year, she and her husband finally arrived in America after fleeing their home in Iran and going through years of applications and security checks in Turkey, hoping to find a safe home somewhere. The IRC in Seattle provided her with free Uber services to participate in a new Career Connect development mentoring program so she could not only maintain a job with irregular hours but also keep up with her education and training.

“I was going to cancel my classes if I didn’t have Uber. My husband and I share the car and now I am able to attend class while he is using it.”

Now that Minoo has completed the IRC in Seattle’s Career Connect, she’s going back to school to pursue a career as a dental hygienist. Between her current job, school, and supporting her husband’s career, she’s got a lot to think about. One thing she doesn’t have to worry about is transportation.

Empowering refugees to focus on what’s important

Uber’s Community Impact Initiative is about supporting those in need by removing barriers, letting them rise above their current situation and achieve goals they never thought possible. Annie Keating, the Seattle Employment Program Manager for the IRC says of the program, “Uber ride credits, in no insignificant way, make the IRC in Seattle’s Career Connect program possible.”

For 83 years, the IRC in Seattle has helped refugees rebuild their lives, giving them hope and a sense of identity in their new home country. Through the Community Impact Initiative, we’re proud to work with the IRC in Seattle to support their workforce development programs and provide free rides to those in need.

In 2018, the Uber NW Community Impact Initiative has donated over $600,000 in financial assistance and rides to 45+ nonprofits across the region. For more information, visit t.uber.com/communityimpact.