2022 Real Life Scholarship Winners

$5,000 Award Winner

Divine Mutoni

Divine was born in a refugee camp when her family fled the Democratic of Congo due to war. She is the oldest of 8 siblings and describes herself as the big sister, always looking to take care of everyone else. When her two younger sisters had to undergo surgery, Divine stepped up to be the person her siblings could look to and help in any way that she could. Divine will graduate from Orem High School this year and plans to attend the University of Utah. She hopes to study to be an architect and use those skills to help make the world around her beautiful.

Divine speaks four languages, and her recommender described the ways she always works hard and never shies away from a challenge.

$3,000 Award Winner

Pamela Shindano

Pamela and her family lived as refugees in South Africa until they were forced out due to violence, protests, and maltreatment. They were grateful when they received the opportunity to come to America and have now been in the U.S. for the past 7 years. It took a while for Pamela to feel at home in Utah, but she found her place when she joined a church and began singing in the choir. Pamela is currently studying Political Science and Sociology at Salt Lake Community College and preparing to transfer to the University of Utah. She would like to become a defense attorney so she can help others to know their rights and stand up for them.

Pamela’s recommender celebrated her kind spirit, character, commitment to her education, and drive to succeed among Pamela’s best qualities.

$3,000 Award Winner

Sifa Mwangaza

Sifa and her family are from the Democratic of Congo. They spent many years together in a Burundi refugee camp where they faced many hardships with the shortage of food and lack of a good education. Sifa’s mom worked hard to take care of the 6 children in Sifa’s family and give them the opportunity to come to America and receive an education. Sifa is incredibly grateful for the support her mom has given her all her life. This year, Sifa will graduate from Highland High School and she will attend Salt Lake Community College in the fall. Sifa has a hunger to always be learning and hopes to study to become a doctor so she can heal others.

Sifa’s recommender described her as a compassionate friend to all, a committed student, and an achiever.

$2,500 Award Winner

Nazanin Shahidi

Naz and her family came to the United States from Iran in 2014. Her mom hoped that in coming to America, her two daughters would have more educational opportunities and a positive environment to grow up in. When she first came to America, Naz struggled to learn English and adapt to an unfamiliar environment with new foods and people she could not yet communicate with. Over the years, Naz worked hard to improve her English and build friendships in her new home. This year, she will graduate from Olympus High School, and she plans to attend Salt Lake Community College in the fall. Naz feels a strong interest in the way the body works and hopes to study nursing, although she has interests in many other topics including real estate, fashion, women’s studies, and psychology.

Naz’s recommender described her as a curious, engaged learner, and a class leader.

$2,500 Award Winner

Divine Nyiramugisha

Divine and her family are from Rwanda, where they lived after fleeing the war in the Democratic of Congo. Growing up in Rwanda, she experienced many hardships, often walking many hours to get water and there was often little food. These experiences shaped Divine’s appreciation for all that she has now and has given her a thirst for taking advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. Divine will graduate from Hillcrest High School this year and plans to attend the University of Utah in the fall. Divine feels a deep need to help others around her and believes that studying nursing will help her to achieve that.

Divine’s recommender described her as humble, hardworking, and passionate.

$2,000 Award Winner

Niyat Aregay

Niyat and her family are from Eritrea. When she was 10 years old, Niyat moved to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Living in the refugee camp was difficult, as there was not enough food or clothes to wear. In 2016, Niyat came to the United States and began school 3 weeks after arriving. Over the years, Niyat has been thankful for the extra support and homework help she has received from mentors around her and Youthlinc Real Life volunteers. Niyat is graduating from Highland High School this year and will attend Salt Lake Community College. She is extremely interested in learning about the body and how to help others to be healthy. Her goal is to be the first in her family to graduate from college.

Niyat’s recommender described her as a hardworking and dedicated student who always makes school a priority.

$2,000 Award Winner

Nyirabanyoro (Sifa) Renzaho

Sifa’s family is from the Democratic of Congo. Due to the violence in their country at the time, her family fled to Uganda where Sifa was born. Sifa’s parents worked hard to provide for her and her eight siblings and in doing so, instilled in Sifa a hard-working ethic and a resilience to never give up. Sifa is currently a student at Salt Lake Community College. From an early age, Sifa has been interested in studying nursing because she would like to save lives and support others who are in need. She hopes that as she continues in her education, she will be able to make her parents proud.

Sifa’s recommender described her as a hard working and caring student, with strong goals and a positive attitude.

$1,500 Award Winner

Aasutosh Acharya

Aasutosh was born in Nepal and he and his family eventually migrated to the United States. In 2020, he graduated from Cottonwood High School, and he is now attending the University of Utah and pursuing a degree in neuroscience. Through hardships in his life, Aasutosh learned to employ what he describes as a positivity mindset, and he credits that mindset to his interest in the workings of the brain. Aasutosh steps forward into life with an intense curiosity of the workings around him and the willingness to learn all he can about them.

Aasutosh’s recommender describes him as: “original, insightful, analytical, and intelligent.”

$1,500 Award Winner

Axel Ulises Francisco

Ulises was born in Mexico. From an early age, Ulises felt a strong motivation to do well and a desire to learn. While in Mexico, he struggled in school, feeling that he lacked the support he needed to succeed. His family came to the United States seeking better education and opportunities for him. This year, Ulises will graduate from Highland High School, and he will attend Salt Lake Community College in the fall. He has many interests but is looking at exploring SLCC’s trade certificate programs for construction or electricity while also entertaining interests in the health field or robotics engineering.

Ulises’ recommender described the profound respect Ulises shows to everyone he meets as well as his drive and focus when it comes to school.

$1,500 Award Winner

Ornela Masanka

Ornela and her family are from the Democratic of Congo. When she was young, Ornela had a dream to get an education but was unsure whether she would have the opportunity to do so. As she grew older and came to America, she was able to witness her older sister paving the way as she graduated high school and moved on to college. This, coupled with Ornela’s parents’ encouragement to put her education first, showed her that her dream could become a reality. Ornela is currently a Senior at Hunter High School. In the fall, she is excited for the opportunity to study Fashion at the University of Utah, a goal that originated in 6th grade when she designed her first skirt.

Ornela’s recommender describes her as well-rounded with a powerful desire to work hard and give back to her community.

$1,500 Award Winner

Silvia (Ferny) Torres

Ferny’s family came to America from Ecuador seeking opportunities for their family. Growing up, Ferny faced many challenges and trials. As she worked through these challenges, she found a refuge in music. Music helped her to express herself, heal the pain that she felt, and keep going. To this day, Ferny can often be found singing and sharing music with those around her. This year, she will graduate from Olympus High School and she plans to attend Utah Valley University.

Ferny’s recommender describes her constant positivity and willingness to lift those around her. Ferny is a friend to all and a hard working student.

2022 Young Humanitarian Award College Winners

$7,500 College Winner

Abdul Bari Ayubi

Abdul Bari Ayubi is a refugee student at the University of Utah who is majoring in health and kinesiology as well as pre-med and planning to apply to medical school in the near future. He moved to the United States in 2018 and started high school as a senior, completing all of the graduation requirements at the same time. He can’t believe he’s now a junior at the university. To help other refugee students and newcomers in Utah, he founded the Bright Association of Utah. When he works with refugee students, he sees a past version of himself in their eyes; He was in their shoes, speaking no English and unable to read or write. He’s glad he can now support them by taking their hands and inspiring them to stand on their own feet.

$4,000 College Winner

Amelia Nelson

Amelia Nelson is a second-year Biomedical Engineering student at the University of Utah. While she has served at a couple of volunteering sites over the years (such as the Natural History Museum of Utah), her main service site is Palmer Court. In the beginning, she started at this location as a Learning Branch instructor the summer before her senior year of high school. A year later she helped found and lead (with the help of the Learning Branch, Road Home, and Husky Robotics) two first robotics lego league teams that she continues to run every Saturday to this day. This program is meant to help support and inspire the kids at Palmer Court to pursue STEM and academics in general.

$1,500 College Winner

Justin Childs

Justin Childs is a soon to be BYU graduate, and an aspiring health professional. His chosen path to be a health professional is rooted in his desire to serve and make a difference in his community. Over the last several years, he has dedicated his time, talents, and energy to serving a variety of communities in Utah as a soccer coach, a student manager, and a refugee service Executive Director to name a few. Because he has been given much, he feels a tremendous amount of gratitude that urges him to pay it forward and do his part to make the world a better place. He truly enjoys being an instrument of empowerment where individuals can come together to bond and be the miracle that someone needs. His service journey was paved by love for his neighbors and a yearning to build a community that transcends barriers.

$1,500 College Winner

Lucy Bradshaw

Lucy Bradshaw is a sophomore at Brigham Young University studying exercise science, with the plan to attend optometry school and become an eye doctor. Her biggest goal is to use the skills she acquires as an optometrist to help underserved communities throughout the U.S. and the world. She became interested in serving the community after going on a humanitarian trip to the Dominican Republic, where she realized that every service effort makes a difference. When she got home, she served her community through the local art museum for 12 months before heading to college. After a semester, she volunteered my time for 18 months in California and had the chance to serve many families and multiple communities in a variety of ways. She knew when she came back from northern California that she wanted to continue to serve, and she is currently the executive director of a student volunteer program that assists multiple elementary schools in the area to improve literacy skills for both native English and Spanish speakers.

$1,500 College Winner

Sophia Sheehan

Sophia Sheehan is a freshman at Snow College studying pre-dental. She wants to become a special needs dentist after graduation, and that is all because of the special needs kids that inspire her daily! She currently volunteers with special needs children at Kids on The Move and has met so many wonderful people there. Each of them faces unique challenges but pushes through them with a happy attitude. It is so encouraging! She also loves anything that has to do with the water. She has spent well over 300 hours teaching young children water-safety skills. It is so important for her to teach young kids the value of water safety at such young ages. She is so grateful for the opportunities she has had to serve because each person she meets has helped her grow to become more kind, inclusive, and loving.

2022 Young Humanitarian Award High School Winners

$7,500 High School Winner

Anagha Rao

Anagha Rao is a high school senior at Skyline High school and is eager to attend the University of Utah to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Anagha strongly believes in the importance of working to improve the lives of animals through community service. She has done this by initiating a project to build 24 cat shelters for local community cat colonies and organized a donation drive that raised over $2,000 for Kitty CrusAIDe, a local community cat nonprofit. In her school’s Community of Caring program, she has co-founded her own board position to implement animal-related service opportunities at Skyline, which had earned her the prestigious Joanie Daily Service Learning Award. To further expand this movement, Anagha also visited several local schools to speak about animals and the environment and maintains a blog to spread awareness about animal-related issues. In her free time, Anagha loves to play tennis, teach piano, and spend time with her friends and family.

$4,000 High School Winner

Anika Rao

Anika Rao is a junior in the International Baccalaureate program at West High School in Salt Lake City. Anika is passionate about creating an inclusive community that values diversity and equity, and has focused her service on achieving this goal through her role as the Editor-in-Chief of her high school’s newspaper; a volunteer with the Mundi Project, a Utah-based nonprofit that aims to provide equitable access to music experiences; a Salt Lake Peer Court youth volunteer; a Salt Lake City Public Library youth volunteer; and through the National Honor Society and Key Club at her high school. Anika is a 4-time recipient of the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, and was awarded the University of Utah Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Leadership Award in January of 2022. Anika is very interested in journalism and political science, and would like to pursue a career as an international education reporter in the future. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, playing the piano, and traveling with her family. Through her service, Anika hopes to take part in creating a more empathetic community that works toward achieving equality and justice for all its members.

$1,500 High School Winner

Carolyn Marlin

Carolyn Marlin is a junior at The Waterford School. She would like to be a researcher and educator in the field of education. In addition to working with children both in and out of the classroom, she has a passion for community service and has served different organizations over the past three years. After serving as a member of The UServe Utah Youth council in 2021, she was inspired to create Bags of Love Utah, a charitable organization that seeks to ameliorate the urgent needs of our community by engaging youth. Since May of 2021, Bags of Love Utah has created over 1,034 bags of project, packed by over 60 youth volunteers and has satisfied the immediate needs of over 7 charities in the greater Salt Lake City area. She serves as co- president of the community service club at Waterford and conducts many impactful service projects throughout the year. When she is not teaching or doing community service, she can usually be found working at Deer Valley, babysitting, playing soccer, enjoying time with her cherished family and friends and playing with her dogs Allie and Charlie.

$1,500 High School Winner

Izabella Pendleton

Izabella Pendleton is a senior at Skyline High School. She is the co-director of the Community of Caring program and recently received the Joanie Daily Service Scholar Recognition where she completed over 300 hours of service. In addition to numerous school sponsored service activities, she went on a Youthlinc trip to Peru and fell in love with the children of Yanomono II. She volunteered with Real Life during her sophomore and junior year providing homework support to students at the Hser Ner Moo Community Center and Olympus High School. She saw a need in her community for families in emergency situations left without basic hygiene supplies. She organized a drive and raised over $700 for hygiene kits to donate to a local hospital. She plans to attend BYU in the fall where she will pursue a degree in nursing and continue down her service journey.

$1,500 High School Winner

Lucy Ballard

Lucy Ballard is the Student Body President at Ogden High School. She enjoys going to school, playing basketball, and being involved in the community. After identifying a need for leadership opportunities for young women in her community she launched the Jr. Junior League of Ogden, focused on preparing the next generation of female leaders. She is an International Baccalaureate student and plans to further her education in Environmental Studies after high school.

2022 Scholarship Award Winners
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