Tenzing N. and Tenzin L.
Tenzing N. dreamed of a life where food was bountiful, warm water was plentiful and access to electricity was unlimited. He studied Hindi, English and Tibetan languages while working for the family's carpet business in Nepal. After completing his degree, he moved to Kathmandu and began working for a large corporation. The owner's son of the establishment, also Tibetan, enthusiastically spoke to Tenzing about his recent trip to the United States. Tenzing was intrigued by the man's enthusiasm and endorsement of a foreign land that promised to reward hard word with opportunity. Needless to say, Tenzing was convinced to travel to the United States. However, he lacked the financial resources to take him there.
An unexpected shift in international political affairs granted Tenzing with an unprecedented opportunity. The outcome of the 1992 talks between then President George W. Bush and the Dali Lama resulted in 1,000 Tibetans being allowed to travel from Nepal and India to the United States. A lottery system was devised to handle the exorbitant swell of interest and to randomly and fairly select only 1,000 individuals. Amongst the hundreds of thousands that participated in the lottery, Tenzing had one of the winning tickets! Although Tenzing had the coveted opportunity to travel to the United States, he lacked the financial resources that would facilitate a trip there.
Tenzing was determined. He refused to allow money - or a lack thereof - to stand between him and his dreams of traveling to America.
He therefore borrowed 56,000 rupees from the Tibetan Exile Government and purchased his plane ticket. Through the Tibetan Resettlement Project, he was able to secure shelter in the United States, learn more of the English language and how to acclimate to Western culture.
Never before had Tenzing experienced 24-hour hot water, uninterrupted electricity and access to a wide array of fresh food - from all seasons - in one location. The supermarket was a rare treat indeed.
Tenzing's first week working at an East Bay restaurant was challenging. Although hired as the "dishwasher" he had never ever seen a dishwasher before. He was tempted to return the money to the governmental agency and return home to Nepal. Yet, he knew he had to continue and persevere in order to pursue his ultimate dream.
Before long, Tenzing identified his passion for helping people and discovered work at a retirement home in San Mateo. At the Stratford, he completed a successful tenure from 1992-2007. A year later, he applied for and became a US Citizen. With savings in hand, Tenzing returned to Nepal and married his long distance love. Immediately, after the ceremony, the new couple, along with Tenzing's mother, flew to the United States.
In 2001, Tenzing reached his pinnacle of emotional success. He was a citizen of the country he long admired, and was married and planning to start a family. He used his life savings to materialize the American dream - and opened his own business. Reminiscent of the fond memories he shared with his family in Nepal working in their store, he returned to the family business model and opened a store called "Tibet Rugs" in San Mateo.
The store was hugely successful until 2006, when the economy began taking a downward spiral. Tenzing had no choice but to close the store. Times were especially tough financially now that he had his elderly mother, wife and two children to support.
Tenzing returned to the Stratford, but, they could only offer part-time employment. However, he gladly accepted any work he could find, inclusive of being an on-call housekeeper at Kaiser Hospital. Despite the financial constraints and challenges, Tenzing knew the United States was the best place in the world for to raise his family. Further, he had been encouraging his younger brother, and even saving money for Tenzin to travel to America and start a new life.
In April 2009, Tenzing's younger brother Tenzin finally received an Immigrant VISA through his mother and traveled to the United States.
Shortly upon Tenzin's arrival, Tenzing was laid-off from the Stratford. There was now no source of income and no way to support an even larger family.
While Tenzing was looking for work, Tenzin found a job in July, working as a busboy at a local San Mateo restaurant, just three months after arriving in the United States. Tenzin shared the difficulties his brother Tenzing was experiencing in finding work with a co-worker. The co-worker told Tenzin about a flyer her saw about a place called "JobTrain." He advised Tenzin it's a place where you can receive free job training and help with job placement. Tenzin was hesitant to accept the information as it sounded too good to be true and figured there had to be a catch.
When Tenzin's shift was over, he immediately did a Google search of JobTrain and discovered their website. He carefully and cautiously read each section. To his surprise, there was no catch. It was a legitimate organization that legitimately helps ALL people in need. Tenzin thought to himself, "I must be dreaming. Now, I can become a cook and eventually open my own restaurant with JobTrain's help."
Without hesitation or delay, Tenzin showed his brother the JobTrain website. They felt their dreams could come true - because of - and through JobTrain. Within seconds, Tenzin called JobTrain and the very next day, he and his brother had appointments with their intake counselor. They were most eager to start the next cycle of training.
In August 2009, Tenzing N., aged 39 and his brother Tenzin L., aged 32, enrolled in JobTrain's highly regarded Culinary Arts Program.
The two brothers were stellar students. They performed with academic distinction, completed each project with both pride and honor - and ahead of schedule. Every dish they prepared was made with love and plated with exquisite perfection.
Tenzing and Tenzin received many awards at JobTrain. They were recognized for their perfect and on-time attendance and for their unique cooking skills at various competitions.
Further, both brothers are active JobTrain ambassadors and frequently encourage their friends overseas to enroll at JobTrain if they're planning to immigrate to the United States.
On January 27, 2010, Tenzin and Tenzing graduated from JobTrain and proudly walked across the stage, excitedly accepted their certificates of completion from Culinary Arts and - at long last - received their first tangible proof that they are the American Dream personified.
The pursuit of the American Dream is shared by domestic and international JobTrain clients alike. The convergence of East meets West, solidifies a cross-cultural experience of shared goals and values. The insatiable desires to succeed and achieve a better lifestyle are universal.