A former co-worker of mine wrote these words, and I wanted to share her story. I’m proud to have worked alongside her and proud to work for a company that provides these opportunities!
Here’s her story..
My name is Hind Salih. I am from Sudan, a land full of God’s wealth, but ripped and shattered due to domestic conflicts and government policies. Numerous cities in Sudan experience crisis multiple times per year, even the capital, Khartoum. The Muslim Brotherhood regime came to rule in 1989 through a coup d’état, and for 30 years, they were exercising merciless violence and force to restrain the civilians. Throughout that time, people were not happy, and they regularly protested in the streets – yelling and carrying signs to state their demands. In response, the government fired guns at them and released tear gas to stop the crowds. The protesters’ annoyance elevated, and they started to destroy everything in their way. During these days of unrest, people went about business as usual. Children were in schools, and adults were at work, however, roads were blocked, and there were no guarantees anyone would be able to make it home safely. Days like these were terrifying, but going through them with my family gave me the courage I needed to continue living and flourishing. September 23rd, 2013 was a rough day. Everyone, except my mother, was at work or school. Around noon another protest started. My brother picked all of us up, but he had to leave my son at the nursery because it was on lockdown. On the side of the roads I saw numerous dead bodies – some were kids less than 10 years old. It was the first time I experienced such fear, anger, and trauma. I could no longer live in this way. I decided to immigrate to either the US or Canada. Canada had a more rigorous process that would have consumed more time and money. The US, in contrast, was a gambling game. For 4 years in a row, I submitted my immigration papers for the US Diversity Visa. After continually being denied, I was pleasantly surprised to find out I had been approved in May 2013. Fall 2014, I landed in the US, with my ex-husband and our four-year-old son. Our Port of Entry to the US was O’Hare airport, and we then flew to Birmingham to stay with a high school friend of mine. It was a long trip. On the entire trip from Chicago to Birmingham, my eyes were fixed on the beauty of the colored trees. I kept praying, “God, please make this land our home.” Jokingly now, I say, I bet I was above Indianapolis at that moment. Birmingham, at the time, did not have much to offer us. We heard Indiana was a decent place to raise a family and find jobs, so we packed and moved to Carmel in October of 2014. My ex-husband suffered a cultural shock. He wanted to go back to the culture he was familiar with, while I, on the other hand, for the first time, felt at home. Consequently, my ex-husband left us the day after we moved into our new apartment. We were left with no means to provide for our basic needs; home, transportation, health, food, and education.
My family supported us financially through that phase of life. My son and I both started school. I started my Masters, and my son started kindergarten. One summer evening, while returning a shopping cart to the grocery store a nice lady stopped us offering a ride home. Her name? Christi Garcia. She told us she worked in the area, gave me her phone number, and asked me to visit her at work. I took her at her word, and I visited her at EG. I met her boss, Nick Taylor. I could sense that EG was a great company, and I asked God to provide me with a similar workplace (culture wise). It never occurred to me that He had planned to bring me back to EG, not as a visitor but as an employee.
My father asked me to come home to resolve my marriage issues. Both my ex-husband and I wanted a divorce. The problem was that my ex-husband divorced me religiously, but not legally (possible in Islam), and denied me my parental rights. I now had a new fight. I fought to bring my son back to the US, become officially divorced, and gain custody over my son. In doing so, I went against my cultural norms. I had embarrassed my family. I ended up losing my father’s financial support and had to drop out of school. I had to break my apartment lease and move into my friend’s home. I cleaned houses for a living. God, as always, was faithful. Eg again was placed in my life. Some good friends of mine introduced me to another one of the EG owners. One thing led to another, and I found myself with a generous offer to join the EG family as a QA Manual Tester. I had no experience in testing or software consultancy. Still, I had an open appetite for learning, a desire to grow, and help others do the same. I had an eye for details, an analytical mindset, and a heart to connect, communicate, and serve. EG was able to see all of that in me and decided to hire me based on these qualities. They knew I fit the company culture they had been building for the past 17 years. Placed on a project as the only tester, I had a lot to learn. The project scrum master Sam Hostetter helped me gain confidence, discover my skills, strengths, and weaknesses in my new craft. I was mentored and challenged on this project. It helped me realize the importance of agile development which I was able to bring into my next project at EG. Transforming our team into a well run agile machine was one of the most satisfying practices I experienced at EG.
My journey with EG has come to an end for now. While it is painful, I am grateful for their development and belief in me. EG walked for three years with me. Being an EG employee provided the means necessary to better my quality of life. From living in other people’s houses to owning my own home in one of the most premium school districts in Indy. I moved from being a single mother battling life with limited friend support, to an equipped professional woman, ready for the next chapter of life. I transformed from a person with a broken heart, to a redeemed individual, capable of helping others. For all that, I am beyond grateful.