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Where are they now: Yulia's story

November 8, 2021

Posted in: Student Stories

In the span of two short years, Yulia Maltseva’s life completely changed. She left a familiar home behind in Russia, and not long after arriving in the United States, she found herself in an English class at a library in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. There she sat learning a new language, dreaming of building a new life with an entirely new set of goals.

Before leaving Russia, Yulia had never envisioned a path to permanently living in the Seattle area. But once she was here, and gained access to the right support, she recognized the prospects of a brighter future for her and her family that have motivated her to stay. 

“I changed my life because I know it’s important for my kids,” Yulia said.

She began setting goals for herself – the foremost being to learn English. That’s also where her Goodwill journey began.  

“[At] Goodwill, a lot of things helped me,” Yulia said. “The first one, [I] took English classes. The next one, I go to the interview, and I want to get the accounting job.”

Yulia enrolled in her first English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Work Readiness classes in May 2020. She had a background in accounting in Russia and hoped to pursue that same career path in the United States. Roughly six months after starting classes, she was welcomed to Evergreen Goodwill’s accounting department as an intern.

For five months, accounting employees served as on-the-job instructors, teaching Yulia how to use various forms of accounting software, reconcile financial statements and become familiar with common industry vocabulary.

This information would help set her up for success in the next chapter of her educational pursuit.

 “I want to get CPA, I want to be CPA,” Yulia said.  

Nearly two years after emigrating from Russia, Yulia says she’s a few months shy of receiving an associate degree from North Seattle College.

Speaking candidly about her perseverance, much of her motivation comes from within; however, she thanked her “perfect” accounting team, as well as several instructors who encouraged her to keep going.

One instructor, Scott Rice, proved to be especially influential.

“He believed [in] me, and his faith helped me,” Yulia said. “He found tutors that improved my English skills and prepared for my placement tests … I appreciate him for his support and help.”

She now has a dream of one day being able to give back to Goodwill, simply as a way of showing appreciation to everyone who helped her through her journey.

“They have a mission. They want to give some help for people who need it,” said Yulia. “If you want to get some education, if you want to develop yourself.”

For now, life is busy. Yulia says her kids’ education has taken precedence, but she continues to go to class with the hope of eventually doing a job she loves so profoundly.

 “I need to achieve my goals because if you don’t have goals, you cannot achieve anything,” Yulia said. “I never give up. I never give up.”

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