Faces of SCC: Danyal Najmi
Danyal is helping us kick off our new Faces of SCC highlight, where we’ll learn more about the people and faces around SCC. Danyal has been at SCC since October, 2017 as a career coach with the First Source Jobs Program. And, drum roll please, he is now running for Malden City Council!!!
“I think it’s really exciting what we do,” Danyal says, “Having access to a good job is one of the most important things for people to be able to improve their lives, and have a good future and achieve the American Dream. It’s really rewarding for me to be here, and to see the impact that we have for folks in our community. Personally I just love seeing people’s faces when they’ve gotten a job that they like and come back and tell me about it…It’s been amazing, I’ve never felt so at home at any job. SCC is definitely my favorite place I’ve ever worked in my life.”Danyal started as an interpreter and speaks five (that’s right, FIVE) languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi/ Urdu, and “since starting at SCC two years ago I’ve been working on Haitian Creole, which is number six.” Danyal is skilled at performing real-time interpretations, adding “It’s really fun, and it’s exciting and that’s my favorite kind of interpreting to do.” Interpreting also led him to “discover new parts of the world, like for example I would not have known that SCC existed if I wasn’t an interpreter, I would not have known about any of the work I’m doing now or that anybody else is doing here if I had not had that introduction.”On Somerville:“I really became connected to Somerville when I started college, when I went to Tufts… I’m a city person, I hate driving, and I love being somewhere where I can get to anything I need with public transportation, and I love having a community, so that was really what I found when I first discovered Somerville. And I loved coming to a Martin Luther King Day community event and meeting all the people from the city, and seeing all the cool stuff that Somerville has, like play groups for parents and families.”Danyal’s work at First Source:“Our door is always open. First Source is unique because we serve everybody. Anybody who comes here and wants to find a job, we will not turn them away. And this has been a challenge too, for us, especially as word spreads and we start to reach capacity.
All of us at First Source always agree, we don’t want to set that limit, we don’t want to ever be at a place where say ‘Oh you gotta be on a waitlist, we’re gonna turn you away,’ because when people are looking for jobs it’s urgent, and they need our help now. Sometimes it means thinking outside of the box. When new people come in we have them attend our Networking Cafe, which is every Thursday morning, and that’s one of the most fun things we do here, because we bring so many people together to meet each other, and it’s not just about getting a job, it’s also about building community. Even after people get their job here they will remember us, and they’re going to help other people who are looking for a job.”