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...
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: