When Charlene Noveras immigrated to the U.S., she knew she was giving up her family, friends, and career. Despite initial struggles, she now has a fulfilling job that gives back to her community.
Ms. Noveras was born in the Philippines in 1978. She grew up on an island that was ravaged by constant wars. After earning her Master’s degree, Charlene worked as a community developer in Manila—the capital city of the Philippines. In 2005, she met her future husband, a Filipino native but a recent immigrant to the U.S.
After her son was born, Ms. Noveras starting planning to immigrate to the U.S. as well. She wanted her son to have a better relationship with his father. She applied for a visa, but it was denied. By the time her second application was approved, two years had passed. Charlene’s visa was only valid for three months so she scrambled to prepare herself. In 2011, she arrived with her son.
Living in the U.S. was a struggle for Ms. Noveras. Not only did she have a very difficult time finding work, but she was incredibly lonely. She left so many friends and family behind in the Philippines. She even considered moving back home. Luckily, Ms. Noveras found help from Upwardly Global, an organization which aids immigrant jobseekers. Currently, she works as a development coordinator at Daly City Youth Health Center. Charlene lives in Daly City, CA with her husband and son.