A Dreamer's Journey from Cameroon to Tech

Djamal Diouf

by Djamal Diouf, Program Analyst

A few years ago, I thought everything was over for me. I had to start life anew.

My name is Djamal Diouf and I'm originally from Cameroon, in west-central Africa. I was pursuing a law career while living with my family in Cameroon, and then got persecuted for being a political activist. I found it urgently necessary to leave my parents and siblings behind, and subsequently fled my homeland.

Djamal (far right) and friends on the streets of Yaounde.

My six-month journey(!) in September 2019 to the United States took me through several countries, and I accepted many odd jobs along the way just to survive. My last stop before the U.S. was in Mexico where I resided for a couple of months. I had to provide everything for myself because I had no assistance from the U.S. or Mexican governments.

I also had to find a place to cook my food, secure water and find housing.

Being able to communicate with the locals was paramount to my survival. While English is my first language and I also speak French, I found myself having to learn Spanish, and quickly, for my survival. I was also able to help other immigrants by communicating to them the rules of the local culture.

My journey as an asylum seeker ultimately brought me to the border of the United States and Mexico. I had no knowledge, however, of what to do next.

I began receiving texts from Al Otro Lado, an immigration nonprofit providing free legal services on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Using the Mobile Pathways’ platform, Al Otro Lado was able to text me precise details about my case and gave me virtual online counsel about my options. These updates helped me to get to California safely and legally.

After settling in California, I began learning about Salesforce and mobile technology.

My asylum case is currently pending, and I fully understand my next steps on this immigration journey. I am also thriving with a blossoming career as a Sales Development Representative for ESOR Consulting Group and a Program Analyst for Mobile Pathways. I recently completed my first video pitch for Mobile Pathways and its recently-launched app, Hola Asistente. I look forward to completing additional projects in the immigration space in the future.

One of the main reasons I attended law school in Cameroon was to help people have access to the legal information they needed. A few years ago, I thought everything was over for me when I had to start my life all over again in a new country.

Despite the difficulties I faced, I never lost hope.

Today, I combine my past experiences with my new skills and work as a consultant and analyst for tech companies. Now that I am in the United States, I feel confident that I can do more and reach more people on a global scale.

I went from being an ex-law student to a new career in tech--anything is possible!