“My family spent 17 years in a refugee camp in Nepal before we arrived in Chicago when I was 18.” That’s how Narayan, who was born in Bhutan, explains his childhood. For the next five years the family lived with relatives, worked and relied on Chicago’s public transit system. Wanting to live in a city with a slower pace, they arrived in Cincinnati in 2015 where he, his father and brother found work with the support of extended family. “We all worked at the same place with my cousins, and we all shared one car,” Narayan explains. “It was tough to share rides; we were used to Chicago’s public transportation but in Cincinnati, you really can’t get anywhere without a car.”
Following a cousin’s lead, Narayan enrolled in the Per Scholas technology skills training program, graduated and was hired as an IT consultant. Around that time, he also learned about ChangingGears and completed the requirements to buy a car, choosing a Honda Accord. The timing was right for him both professionally and personally. “I needed to work at client sites in Beavercreek, Dayton and other places. Without my car, my work options would be really limited and I wouldn’t be as marketable,” he says.
“My car has also helped my whole family. We live 20 minutes from the closest bus stop and we still shared one family car with my sister about to start college,” he explains. “I got my car in July and she began driving our family car to the University of Cincinnati in August.”
Narayan now drives his Honda to his current IT placement with a Cincinnati bank. “I am really happy that I got to be part of the ChangingGears program. I am helping my entire family.”