“The biggest thing I learned at Real Life was how important friendships are. Even though I only see the refugees a few times in a week, I always leave there with a humongous and contagious smile on my face. And that smile is from having a friendship with them that is important to them and also to me.” – Alison Gay, Thailand Team 2012

“I loved being with the teens. I honestly think they taught me more than I could ever teach them. They really love everyone with their whole heart and so easily opened up. You could tell they love having volunteers there and that they really did look up to us.  It felt so good to be able to be someone’s role model and make new friends every day.” – Megan Dolle, Peru Team 2012

“This service site changed my life! I have loved getting to know the kids who attend Real Life and see their
lives change over the year! This program has given me such a different perspective on life!” – Erica
Thompson, Kenya 2012

“Real Life taught me the true value of friendship. I’ve created friendships that I’ll never forget. It is amazing
how close you can become with someone in such a short period of time. It made me realize that bonds
can be formed with someone you might have thought was nothing like you. I love Real Life in Salt Lake! :)”–
Carolyn Taylor, Kenya 2012

“What I enjoyed the most about this site is the fact that you have to learn to adjust your comfort zone
when it comes to socializing and having the new experience of working with people I have never worked
with before and who are very different from me and have had so many experiences that I in my ignorance
have never had.” – Megan Adamson, Cambodia 2012

“Getting to know the refugee youth as friends was the best part of this program!  It is so much fun and it doesn’t even feel like volunteering.  You get the chance to become friends with kids your own age who are from other countries and are relatively new to living in the US. It is something that you don’t experience much in your life, especially living in Utah.” – Cayla Marshall, Peru Team 2012

“One thing I learned at Real Life is to never judge anyone by their appearance. You don’t know anyone’s life story and you have no idea who they are until you get the privilege to hear that story.” – McKay Roberts, Cambodia Team 2012

“Whenever we would teach the participants something we would learn it alongside them. One of my first days we did a collage of our plans for the future using pictures from magazines. Then we went around in a circle and explained our goals to each other. It was a cool fun way to get to know the Real Life teens and teach about the importance of goal setting ” –Emily Sorenson, Cambodia Team 2012

“Real Life was great because you get to hang out with really cool kids that are from different countries.  You

learn a lot about them and teach them a lot about yourself.”– Paul Colgan, Peru 2012

“I loved being able to interact with people my age at Real Life. It was fun getting to know the refugee teens
and learning about their lives while having lots of fun doing activities.” – Michelle Moynihan, Guatemala
“Real Life is all about mentoring.  Our job as volunteers was to help these kids learn respect but more
important it required us to get to know them on more of a personal level and mentor them. I met so many
good people and made so many new friends.” – Kristen Shimkus, Peru 2012
“I enjoyed meeting all of the refugees, who have now become some of my good friends.  We talk and have
fun getting to know more about each other.  These are some of the best people I have ever come to know.
They taught me what a difference two hours every other day can make”.– Ella Brigs, Cambodia 2012
“We do so many things at Real Life. Whether it’s playing a ton of games or creating a resume, we always
find a way to have a bunch of fun together! We have also made shirts together, gone on field trips, and
cooked meals!” – Ali Gay, Thailand 2012
“Interacting with the Real Life kids every other day and playing around and participating in
well thought-out activities really created a memorable experience.  Every day we were given the
opportunity to help out and feel useful.  It was fulfilling and made us feel like we were helping in some
way.” – Quincy Bowen, Cambodia 2012
“My job as a Real Life Mentor is to be a friend to the teens. I hang out with them and give them someone to
talk to! We get them involved and excited to be creating bonds with us and the other teens.” – Kelly Garcia,
Thailand 2012
“There isn’t one thing I can pin down as my all time most valued aspect of Real Life. Countless things
pass through my mind such as the numerous life lessons and principles i was able to learn each day
through the incredible kids I was so blessed to interact with.  It was such a blessing to be able to be a part
of this program and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity.” – Callie May, Kenya 2012
“At first I wasn’t willing to volunteer Fridays.  Then I fell in love with the atmosphere, the people who run
Real Life and the teens.  I went every day I could after that realization! I want the Real Life kids to be the
best they can, because they truly ARE the best.  The things I learned at Real Life are truly heartfelt.  I not
only learned about other kids and helping them, but learned so much about myself .” – Gui Pelaez, Peru
“What I valued most about my time at Real Life was the friendships I made.  I am still good friends with
most of the kids I worked with and I love them all.  I think they taught me more than I could ever teach
them.” – Katie Stevens, Kenya 2012
“Real life gave me the opportunity to become friends with those who I normally might not know. You learn that you are so alike, but that everyone has different stories and different things going on in their life. – Katie Nydegger, Peru 2012
“I had never worked with refugee teens before, and I had to learn how to break down a wall that I hadn’t
seen with other volunteering that I had done. There was a shyness wall, a wall of personality to
break through. It wasn’t easy but it helped me a lot to socialize in this manner and was so helpful when I went to Peru.  It was great practice for me.” – Hector Zumaeta, Peru 2012


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