Refugees Carry on the Pioneering Spirit

Utah was founded by pioneers seeking refuge from oppression and that tradition continues today. In his final State of the State address, Governor Gary Herbert compared the refugees living in Utah to the pioneers who founded the state.

“Today new modern pioneers are still coming here in search of a better life and new opportunities,” Herbert said.

Utah is home to more than 65,000 refugees, and each of them add culture and diversity to the state. They all come with a hope for a better life and a desire to make a positive impact on their community. More...

Two Refugee Youth Are Making Waves in Utah’s Tech Sector

For the past several years, Utah’s Refugee Services Office (RSO) has offered free, volunteer-led tech classes for refugees. Initially, these classes began with a youth focus, but eventually grew into certification-based classes for adults. In spite of the shift, two 17-year-old refugee youth showed great commitment and continued on into the adult classes.

Omar, from Somalia, and Abdullah, from Iraq, have attended three years of ongoing computer programming training. RSO staff connected them with internships through the Salt Lake County Youth Services Summer Internship Program and private sector tech partners. More...

Volunteers Help Refugees Feel Welcome

Utah is home to nearly 65,000 refugees, most of whom live in the Salt Lake Valley. Many refugees face great challenges after resettlement in the United States as they begin building their new lives in America. The Utah Refugee Services Office partners with Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office to help connect refugees with volunteer mentors who can help refugees better integrate into their new communities.

Having a friend to help navigate a new area helps a person feel more comfortable and confident, which is why volunteers are crucial in the refugee resettlement process. Volunteers can help refugees learn how to use public transit, navigate the city and integrate into the community.

The Know Your Neighbor Program provides volunteers with three different options for service:

  • Family Friend

  • Skill Share

  • Program Volunteer More...