He was told he was being resettled and in 2004, Bertine landed in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. He said, "When I stepped off that plane I thought to myself, now I am safe."
Bertine searched for a job and finally found his first at Burger King where he would take out the garbage and later progressively moved up to become a cashier.
Later, Bertine was juggling three jobs and joined a community college and never missed a class. He would ride nearly ten kilometers on his bike to evening classes. But soon after, Bertine was doing so well he got a scholarship to study at University of Wyoming.
He graduated in mathematics and math education and became a high school teacher.
Later, he became the principal of Rawhide Elementary School. "This country took a chance on somebody who had nothing, and it has blessed me to be who I am," Bertine says. "I look at it as my civic duty, my responsibility, to give back that way."