LOCAL NEWS

Utah Refugees Celebrate College Graduation

May 17, 2021, 11:54 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A group of 69 refugees in Utah celebrated a major milestone — their college graduations — and they all credited the local non-profit, One Refugee, as getting them across the finish line.

The students met Monday night for a celebration dinner.

“It’s been crazy with the pandemic,” said Raymon Burton, a spokesperson for the non-profit. “But our students are resilient and a lot of them have been through pandemics in their past.”

The refugees all came to the U.S. from war-torn countries and most of them are first-time college graduates in their families.

“It feels unreal,” said Fabiola Kamberi.

For Kamberi, making her parents’ sacrifice of fleeing Kosovo during the 1999 war with Serbia was important.

“I was like, ‘I’ve got to make my family proud,'” she said. “I’ve got to make their sacrifice worth it. They brought me here for a reason, I’ve got to make that reason worth it.”

The One Refugee Program, funded primarily by Roger and Sara Boyer, aims to help refugee students with tuition, fees and mentoring.

“I was a business student, and being in the business school with my background, I always just kind of felt out of place,” said Kamberi.

One Refugee helped fill the gap.

“I found programs that were for students like me,” she said.

For her, it was the difference she needed to keep working hard, and eventually, get her bachelor’s degree — making her the first in her family to graduate from college.

Since 2014, the non-profit has helped more than 600 students, but this year’s graduates total was their largest group yet.

Keshab Adikari and his family came to the United States from Butan in 2008. He graduated in late 2020 and said he’s proud of the work he’s doing as a nurse.

“I am the first person to get an advanced degree in the family,” he said. “Going through all this pandemic and helping all these people get through the pandemic is awesome.”

Kamberi has a quote she lives by and believes One Refugee is the reason she is where she is today.

“Lift as you rise. Help those behind you who need it.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

...
Mike Headrick and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Newly-built homes deemed unlivable due to sliding soil

If you want to know what a sinking home sounds like, just ask Eric and Carole Kamradt.
1 day ago
(Jack Grimm/KSL TV)...
Alex Cabrero

Powerful winds tear through Tooele

Near the Nevada line, high winds can force the interstate to close to high-profile vehicles like 18-wheelers, and they end up in gas station parking lots.
1 day ago
(John Wilson/KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

Woman found dead on road Provo

A body was found near 850 West 800 North at approximately 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
1 day ago
FILE: Angela Petersen and her daughter Mishala Petersen have developed a new hobby during the pande...
Jed Boal

SLC redesigning 2100 South for cars, pedestrians, and cyclists

A rise in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities, is a key reason Sugar House business owners and community members are urging residents to get involved in the redesign of 2100 South.
1 day ago
...
Mike Anderson

A professor works to combat virus spread through indoor air

Demetrius Paragonis was called on to help measure the risk for spread inside performance venues, here's what he found.
1 day ago
Christian Francis Taele, 28, of Lake Shore, has been found competent to stand trial in both murder ...
Kaitlyn Bancroft

Utah man charged in 2 ‘purge’ killings found competent to stand both trials

A man accused of killing one man in Ogden and another in Spanish Fork has been found competent to stand trial in both cases.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Utah Refugees Celebrate College Graduation