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“I spent a decade of my childhood in immigration in a neighboring country due to ongoing war, insecurity, and poverty in my country, Afghanistan. Therefore, I am well aware of the challenges that immigrants face to pursue a better and safer life in a new country. I believe the work we do at FORWARD is of great value to those who are most in need in our community.” – Khayam Ahmadi, FORWARD Associate Program Manager
Khayam is an Associate Program Manager at FORWARD and is currently supporting the Washington Immigrant Relief Fund, a $300M stipend program for immigrants in the state of Washington who did not receive support from previous COVID relief programs.
What did you do before working at FORWARD?
I was working with the US Army in my home country of Afghanistan where I was responsible for managing and training the local security forces. I gained valuable experience working in teams with diverse groups of people and conducting given tasks in various high-stress situations.
What are your responsibilities as an Associate Program Manager?
As a FORWARD Associate Program Manager, I work closely with local community-based organizations to support the Washington Immigrant Relief Fund led by immigrant organizations across Washington state, together with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. FORWARD is providing the infrastructure to administer this program and my role is to help community-based organizations effectively use the FORWARD Platform to assist applicants applying for funding. This includes training staff in the application process, reviewing applications, and providing general technical support. In addition to supporting these organizations on a daily basis, I host weekly check-in meetings to provide our partners with updates about applications while making sure they receive all the support they need from me. I also help with other aspects of administering the program, such as writing video scripts, creating tutorial videos, working with data, and creating reports.
What challenges do you face in your work?
Many of our partner organizations are stretched thin and have a hard time juggling their day-to-day responsibilities while working to meet program deliverables. This is made even more difficult as many of us work remotely and struggle to communicate effectively. My role connects these disparate systems and streamlines communication between our many partner organizations and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to ensure that we are providing a consistent and accessible experience for applicants.
What makes you excited to come to work each day?
My passion for helping others. I spent a decade of my childhood in immigration in a neighboring country due to ongoing war, insecurity, and poverty in my country, Afghanistan. Therefore, I am well aware of the challenges that immigrants face to pursue a better and safer life in a new country. I believe the work we do at FORWARD of great value to those who are most in need in our community. I am also grateful for my team at FORWARD which consists of diverse professionals whom each have their own characteristics and personalities. Through my work at FORWARD, I am always meeting people with different nationalities, languages, cultures, and beliefs and improving how I can effectively communicate with and help them.