A Mentorship Program for Refugee Professionals

Tatweer is helping me learn from
someone who has already arrived at
where I want to be.

My mentor knows exactly what it
takes to get there and what sacrifices
need to be made.

I have a resource for life - the
connections that I made will always be
there for me.

The monthly group meetings are
helping me build my confidence and
overcome my uncertainty.


Tatweer, an initiative from Jewish Family Service, helps meet the needs of resettled refugees who have professional degrees and experience. Volunteer mentors provide coaching and support to help these skilled professionals get on track to career path jobs in the U.S.

In addition to workforce integration support, Tatweer participants receive one-on-one, industry-specific mentorship. Mentors provide valuable expertise in their industry and help participants establish the professional networks necessary for career development and advancement.

Most of us need to be advised about what to choose in order to build a career here.


Tatweer addresses the needs of professionals like you. Through participation in Tatweer (which in Arabic means “development” or “progress”) you will benefit from professional mentorship and job search trainings. You will connect with other professionals who are on the path to establishing their careers in the United States.

Program Components

Soft Skills Training

Job search skills that are specific to the U.S. workplace are addressed through online courses and group trainings. Topics include: resume, cover letter, online networking, live networking, interview skills and workplace culture.


When it comes to job searching, it’s all about who you know. In order to know the “right people,” you need to put yourself in a position to meet professionals in your field. Tatweer provides a calendar of networking events to help you integrate into your professional community. The more events you attend, the more professional connections you will make.


Your mentor provides valuable expertise in your industry. Your mentor will help you explore different possible career paths within your industry and identify skills that can make you more competitive. Your mentor will also coach you on how to expand your network, as well as point you toward professional organizations and industry events.

To learn more about becoming a participant, contact tatweer@jfsseattle.org
or (253) 850-4065.

Program Goals

Community Building

Tatweer participants help guide and support each other as they develop their professional careers. Through the program, you will also open doors for future participants by building legitimacy with employers and creating awareness in your community.

Professional Networks

"Referred candidates are twice as likely to land an interview as other applicants." Due to this, building a community of professionals that can guide and assist you with your career development is essential to your success.

Professional Advancement

Tatweer is designed to give refugee professionals a pathway from survival jobs into meaningful careers. Through mentorship, networking, and community-building, Tatweer aims to help you take the first step to building a career in your field.

To learn more about becoming a participant, contact tatweer@jfsseattle.org
or (253) 850-4065.

Requirements for Participation


The more time and effort you put into Tatweer, the more you will get out of it. Tatweer is designed to be flexible and work with a variety of schedules. Much of the course work is independent study; time management skills are essential.


Tatweer’s focus is getting professionals back into their field of expertise. We are looking for individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Work experience in the field is preferred.

Active Job Seeker

To participate, you must be either actively looking for work or ready to work in the upcoming months. If you are in school full time, Tatweer may not be right for you.

English Proficiency

Tatweer focuses on meeting professionals within your industry on a regular basis. Participants need to have English language proficiency for high-level professional conversations. ESL Level 4 & 5 preferred.

To learn more about becoming a participant, contact tatweer@jfsseattle.org
or (253) 850-4065.

It is so nice to find people who will give you their time. It’s a really good feeling, to know that someone wants to help.


The Puget Sound region has seen an increasing number of refugees that come to the United States with advanced degrees and years of experience in professional fields. Yet upon arrival, it is very difficult for these highly skilled professionals to find career-path jobs. As a result, many are forced to settle for low-skill, low-pay jobs just to survive. In addition to being disheartening for those individuals, this is a tremendous loss of social and economic capital for the entire community.

The Solution? YOU!

You can make a huge impact in a refugee professional’s life by donating your time and expertise as a mentor. Mentorship is the central component of Tatweer. Mentors are a lot like coaches. You will provide industry expertise, networking guidance and support for your mentee’s career transitions. For refugees, the benefits of a mentor relationship are twofold: access to an industry expert and expansion of professional networks.

Why Get Involved?

Promote Dignity

By helping refugee professionals move closer to reentering their fields of expertise, you promote self-determination.

Amplify Your Impact

Through your mentorship, you will highlight the value of oversees expertise within your industry. By guiding your mentee you will empower him/her to open doors for future Tatweer participants and inspire others within the refugee community to pursue career advancement.

Support Our Economy

Moving individuals from survival jobs into careers adds value to the local economy. Professional mentorships can help increase participants’ earnings by 63%, resulting in an average of $23,000 added to the economy per participant.
Source: http://www.imprintproject.org

Diverse Talent

Since all refugees have work authorization upon arrival, Tatweer is a valuable opportunity to recruit highly educated and ethnically diverse professionals.

To learn more about becoming a mentor, contact tatweer@jfsseattle.org
or (253) 850-4065.

Your Role as a Mentor


You embody what it looks like to be a professional in the U.S. Coaching your mentee on the specifics of your industry, different possible career paths and relevant skills will help make him/her more competitive.


Your mentee will have few, if any, professional contacts. You should coach your mentee on how to best expand his/her network as well as recommend professional organizations and industry events. These are the first steps toward building his/her professional community.


Many refugee professionals are overwhelmed by both the options and the obstacles that stand between them and career advancement. You will help guide your mentee through the process and assist him/her in identifying the right opportunities.

Time Commitment

Each relationship will be unique, but you should expect to work with your mentee three to five hours each month, for a period of six months. Meeting outlines will be provided to help guide you through the process.

To learn more about becoming a mentor, contact tatweer@jfsseattle.org
or (253) 850-4065.


To learn more about becoming a participant or a mentor, contact tatweer@jfsseattle.org or (253) 850-4065.