Salt Lake Community College’s Miller Business Resource Center (MBRC) held its annual graduation ceremony for the Refugee Leadership Training program, a 40-hour training curriculum designed to teach and instill confidence in refugees from around the world to become leaders and spokespersons for their communities.
The program is a part of an ongoing community outreach from SLCC in partnership with American Express and the Refugee Services Office. The 27 graduates for 2016 represented Kenya, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Congo, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Eritrea and Somali Bajuni.
The 2016 graduating class of the Refugee Leadership Training program.
"We are proud of the Refugee Leadership Training program and the training and guidance we provide refugees, and their communities,” said Beth Colosimo, MBRC executive director. “The valuable concepts and techniques we teach help refugees navigate the complexities of living in the United States. We get great feedback from our students that they can immediately apply the lessons they learn. There are currently 60,000 refugees in our state and more are arriving every year. We want to help them be better prepared as they hit the job market and start to become integrated into our community. We couldn’t operate this program without the generous support of American Express.”
The Refugee Leadership Training course at SLCC started in 2009. Since then, more than 200 refugees from 20 different countries and communities have graduated. The leadership program has had a great impact on students’ lives and those they support from their communities.
"Refugees are most successful when they have the tools needed to achieve self-sufficiency for their families and communities," said Asha Parekh, director of the Utah Refugee Services Office. "These graduates are now empowered to help our entire community become more fully integrated and appreciate the common values we share."
The Miller Business Resource Center offers a wide range of services and support to businesses and organizations within the Utah community. Additionally, the MBRC has community and industry partnerships that also provide assistance to the Center. The MBRC also facilitates the Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.