April 2011

Vol. 3 Issue 2

Latest news and stories 
In This Issue
New Small Business Resource
New ODI Website Coming Soon!
Refugee Employment Attainment Program

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Get a 6-Month Financial Makeover!


Third cohort for Spanish language speakers



April, 27

5:30-7:30 pm 


To register or for more information call:



Small Business Resource Summit!

Small Business Resource


Start & grow

your own

small business!  


Workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities with Sacramento

business owners.


Thursday May 26

9 am -12:30 pm

at the

Citrus Heights Community Center


Register for Free Admission!

Click Here


For more information contact the

SBA Sacramento district office:




At ODI we have a commitment to providing our clients and community with the resources that they need. By adding Yuri Garmashov, the New Slavic MicroEnterprise Program Manager, to the ODI team, we are providing a valuable resource for Sacramento's large Slavic population. In addition, a New ODI Website is in the works, improving our outreach and communication with up to date content and new online resources. Plus, catch up on news with the Refugee Employment Attainment Program and their successful start to the new year.

New Resource for Sacramento Area Slavic Business Owners

New Slavic Microenterprise Program Manager, Yuri Garmashov, joins Opening Doors.


Yuri Garmashov joins ODI!

In February Opening Doors was proud to have Yuri Garmashov join its team as the Slavic Microenterprise Program Manager.


Yuri assists Russian-speakers who are starting or expanding their small businesses. He helps them with business planning, understanding the US business environment, 

preparing loan applications, and dealing with business problems. 


Yuri also administers Prosperity Project's Refugee Loan Fund, and is playing a key role in Opening Doors' effort to become an SBA and CDFI micro-lender.


Yuri brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the business people he serves.  He built a successful trucking business here in Sacramento, served as a business consultant, a business analyst, and a loan officer. Yuri has multiple business-related degrees from both California and his native Kyrgyzstan.  Beyond that, he brings great enthusiasm and lots of fresh new ideas to his work here at ODI.


When he isn't assisting small businesses, Yuri may be found overhead.  He is a competitive skydiver and skydiving instructor.



New Opening Doors Website Under Construction!

Website set to launch by the end of April!

website screenshot2
ODI's New & Improved Website!

We are very excited to announce the launch of our new, updated and expanded website! The project has been a massive undertaking. Through this easier to navigate site, Opening Doors will provide up-to- date program content as well as all new client, volunteer and educational resources. New resources will include an events calendar, in-depth internship information, and resources to learn more about human trafficking. 


Another exciting new feature is our success story section which will feature our clients telling their unique stories in their own words. 


The new website will be maintained by our Communication Interns, our latest internship position. Interns in this new position will be responsible for our e-newsletter, social media outreach, and website maintenance.


The construction of the new website will be finished around the end of April. With an improved web presence Opening Doors will be able to better serve our clients and community.


Refugee Employment Attainment Program

Celebrating a successful new year and a rise in popularity.   

REAP graduation FEB2011
REAP's February 2011 graduating class.

On March 29, Opening Doors, graduated a new group of resettled refugees and survivors of trafficking from its successful REAP program. "Everyone is really dedicated. We have lower level students, upper level students and mentors who want to come back. People are getting really excited about this program," said Emily Feuerherm, co-director of REAP.


REAP, a vocational ESL program provides newly resettled refugees and survivors of trafficking a five-week course with information on employment in the United States, an introduction to American culture, civil participation, and employee rights.  The REAP program is 100% volunteer-run: Certified ESL instructors provide class instruction while community members play an integral role in providing crucial one-on-one tutoring.   


"We have had an amazing number of highly qualified people volunteer. And we've had some volunteers go out of their way to help outside of the classroom," Feuerherm said.  Some mentors have taken their students to doctor appointments and others have brought in outside resources and learning materials to their REAP students.


Earlier REAP graduates have also come back to the program to continue on in a mentor and translator role. The rising popularity of REAP's past two courses was in part credited to a REAP graduate who has continued with the program and regularly prepared food for the other students and mentors. "It (brought) in a cultural aspect, a taste of home for a lot of the Iraqi refugees, and for the other refugees a type of cultural immersion," Feuerherm said.


To wrap up every course REAP's instructors, mentors, and students celebrate with a outing or social event. February's REAP class participated in an art walk and March's graduating class held a celebratory BBQ at Feuerherm's house.


The next REAP course will begin again at the end of May. For more information contact Opening Doors at 916.492.2591.  


Thank you for following our work. Together we can make a difference in the lives of refugees, survivors of human trafficking  and other underserved residents in the Greater Sacramento region. If you would like to volunteer or make a donation, please click here



David Blicker

Executive Director
Opening Doors, Inc.