PIVOT Job Corps Center

Student Spotlight: Rubar Kareemi Puts Her Best Foot Forward

May 23rd, 2017

Rubar Kareemi is a PIVOT student on the rise. She and her family moved to the United States four years ago from northern Iraq. Rubar originally started college, but realized it wasn’t the best option at the time. “It was expensive, and I ran out of money,” she explains. “My cousin had gone to PIVOT and told me about it, so I thought I would try it out.”

To be better prepared for PIVOT, and her eventual career, Rubar studied English on her own at home. “I tried a lot of different programs. I read books and watched videos online, but I found that watching TV helped a lot! As soon as I learned some slang and what a sentence was like, I started reading again and this time it was more helpful and enjoyable.”

Rubar’s long term goals are to return to college and study Political Science. She comes from a family of politicians and politically active people, which planted the seed of interest in politics. “I come from a country where not just women, but people in general don’t have rights. This made me very interested in politics. Reading about other countries made me realize my country needs new minds, young people with new ideas. I wanted to be a voice of change, and I knew that would be hard without an education.”

When asked how what she’s learning at PIVOT will help her, Rubar said, “With all the computer skills I have gained here, the project that would have taken me two days will now take me a day or less. The vocabulary I’ve learned and how to do research will also be helpful in college.”

Employment Specialist Jessica Corpuel was so confident in Rubar’s abilities, that she placed her in one of PIVOT’s most prestigious work-based learning sites: Senator Jeff Merkley’s district office in downtown Portland. “The senator’s office contacted me in January to ask if we could place a student as soon as possible. They were very busy and needed help answering phones and sorting mail. I knew Rubar would be a great fit, especially with her interest in politics, so as soon as she was ready, she started working!”

Rubar is an example of what PIVOT can do for young adults ready to make a change for the better. The skills Rubar has developed will be an asset to her as she moves forward in her career. We look forward to seeing where she takes them!