Real Life Interns dedicate 200 hours each, overseeing lessons and activities at our twelve welcome centers. Their job is to support the Program Director in volunteer and site management, teaching lessons, and helping all involved students develop life and leadership skills. Each Real Life Intern is a high school graduate, lives in the Salt Lake area, and is a natural leader. This year, every Real Life site has faced additional challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sites have opened, closed, met only virtually, transitioned between virtual and in-person program, and everything in-between. Each intern has remained positive and flexible throughout all the transitions, stepping up to make our after-school program meaningful and fun for their students.
Youthlinc is so grateful to our Real Life Interns for the contributions they make in their communities as they participate in this program. Real Life would not be possible without the work of our interns!
Meg Bianucci, Lincoln Elementary School
“My name is Megan Bianucci. I am currently in the undergrad program at Westminster College and although that is great I would much rather be running barefoot somewhere across the world! Youthlinc introduced me to service internationally and locally. It is an incredible program that I went to Cambodia with in 2017. I served locally with Real Life and I can truly say I have not been the same person since. Real Life is incredible with the impact and genuine love it has for the community it is invested in and I am so beyond excited to be a part of it.
I love service and meeting new people. My interests include reading, running and of course traveling! This is an incredible opportunity for anyone that gets to work with Real Life!”
Skylee Child, Kearns Saint Ann
“My name is Skylee Child and I am beyond stoked to be taking an internship with Real Life!! I am currently a sophomore at the U of U studying Urban Ecology and Finance. I volunteered my senior year of high school at the Evergreen site before traveling to do service in Nepal with Youthlinc. I love learning with others and being outside biking, hiking, playing sports, or just sitting in the sun.”
Hay Soe, Hser Ner Moo
“I am a student at the University of Utah pursuing honors degrees in Philosophy and Entrepreneurship.
As a refugee, I understand the adversities that come from adjusting to a new culture, being the odd one, and usually the first to pioneer into the daunting frontier. Having people who are willing to take your hand and walk you through the journey makes all the difference in the world. My family and I have been greatly blessed by the efforts of the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Community Services, the United Nations, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I understand how impactful compassion and service are and the Real Life Program is an incredible opportunity for me to serve and give back to the community that has given me so much.
I love reading, writing, calligraphy, poetry, learning, listening to stories, camping, scouting, playing soccer, and fantasizing about world peace.”
Kathy Tran, Olympus High School
“My past experiences as a Real Life intern have been some of my most joyful and loving memories in my life. As a daughter from refugee parents, I wanted to further my understanding of the resources offered within the community and obstacles that are faced by the younger refugee population of Utah. Being able to interact with students and understand them on a more personal level has been an eye-opening experience and I hope to learn more throughout my years with this program!
When I’m not teaching, I am:
1. Enjoying warm cookie skillets topped with vanilla ice cream
2. Trying to graduate with a Biology degree from the University of Utah
3. Gently misting my orchid flowers that I so dearly adore!”
Rian Trombetti, Historic Scott School
“I am a sophomore at the University of Utah, I am currently studying English Education and hope to be a high school English teacher one day. I first got involved with Real Life my junior year of high school in preparation for my trip to Kenya with Youthlinc! I fell in love with it and came back a second year. I have now been an alum leader for Peru and am so excited to be going on my third trip with Youthlinc next summer, and have the opportunity to be a Real Life Intern.
Outside of Youthlinc and Real Life, I am a part of Kappa Kappa Gamma at the U. I love football games, and spending time with friends. I cannot wait to start this next adventure!”
Linda Martinez-Velez, Tuscany Cove
“I started as a first-year volunteer for Youthlinc in Guatemala 2015. It was so amazing that I knew I wanted to keep being a part of this program. So I was an alum leader for Madagascar 2017. I then decided that there is no way I am ever going to stop trying to be part of Youthlinc so I became a Real Life intern in 2018-2019. I am again an intern for Real Life for the year 2020-2021. I am now also an assistant team leader for the Peru July team. Youthlinc has changed my life in so many ways and I have made amazing relationships with the people of Guatemala and Madagascar. Not only that, I made amazing friendships throughout the year with the volunteers and leaders that I worked with.
I am going to the University of Utah and working on my Bachelors in Social Work and after I will be working for the Division of Children and Family Services. My hobbies include weightlifting, basketball, snowboarding, stretching, and watching TV. I also have a wonderful husband and we are parents to 3 wonderful dogs.”
Torri Peck, Evergreen Junior High School
“I am a fourth year student at the University of Utah where I am double majoring in Biology, with an emphasis in anatomy and physiology, and Health, Society & Policy. I first got involved with Youthlinc about a year ago volunteering with the Real Life program at Sunnyvale. I learned so much from that experience and it encouraged me to continue my involvement.
When I am not studying or working, you can usually find me with a cup of coffee, spending time with my close friends/family or my dogs, usually outside somewhere. Fall is my favorite season and I own an abundant amount of cozy sweaters and blankets.”
Ibrahim Ramazani, Umoja Generation
“My name is Ibrahim Ramazani, I am a refugee from Malawi Refugee Camp. I have been in the United States for seven years now, I was born in Burundi, Bujumbura. My family and I arrived in Utah in 2013. I am currently in my third year of college at the University of Utah studying Political Science with an emphasis on International Politics. Some of my hobbies are playing soccer, filming videos, and taking photos. I first heard about Youthlinc in 2017 but I didn’t join until last year. I was a volunteer at Cottonwood High School and I loved every moment of it. I am very excited to go back to Cottonwood as an Intern so I can share all the fun things I’ve learned as a volunteer last year.”
Grace Humeniuk, Sunnyvale Neighborhood Center
“My name is Grace Humeniuk and I am a Sophomore at the University of Utah. I am currently studying Social Work! I first got involved with Youthlinc my Junior year of high school in preparation for Peru 2019. I then started volunteering for Real Life at Sunnyvale and fell in love. I am so excited to be returning as an Intern this year to the same site!
Outside of Youthlinc I love spending time with my friends and family. I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking!!”
Darren Chan, Utah International Charter School
“Hi my name is Darren Chan, I am a first-generation college student! I am currently attending the University of Utah studying Kinesiology. A little bit about me is that I love to hike, hammock, or anything outdoors, so catch me outside!
My interest in the refugee and immigrant community stems from my parents who are immigrants themselves! In Real Life I hope to gain a greater understanding in the immigrant and refugee communities in Utah. As a Real Life Intern I hope to pay forward what my parents have given me, and to hopefully leave a lasting impression on all the students I am honored to meet.”
Mimi Reeder, Highland High School
Mimi is a freshman at Western Washington University double majoring in Dance and Human Services. She was first involved with Youthlinc as a volunteer at Real Life in preparation for her trip to Kenya in 2019. Ever since then, she has been Real Life’s #1 fan, and returned as the Intern for the Highland High site in 2020. And now she is back again for more! Mimi is also very grateful to be the Assistant Team Leader for the Youthlinc Mongolia Team this year. When she is not obsessing over all things Youthlinc, she loves to spend her time outdoors hiking, backpacking, skiing, camping, and more! Mimi cherishes all of the friendships she has made through Real Life over the years and is eager to make more.
Belle Barlow, Cottonwood High School
“My name is Belle Barlow. I am currently a freshman at the University of Utah studying social work. I first got involved with Youthlinc 2017 when I traveled to Thailand. Since then, I have been involved in service in a variety of capacities within our community. This is my first year with Real Life and I am so excited for this new experience.
Outside of Youthlinc, I am a part of Chi Omega sorority at the University of Utah. I love to be outside, running, hiking, skiing, biking, and spending time with friends.”