Real Life is a peer-to-peer mentoring program primarily serving the refugee and immigrant youth population in the Salt Lake area. The demographic supported by the Real Life program suffers from high drop-out levels, gang involvement, and the risk of becoming involved in practices that are detrimental to personal and social development.

These youth face a barrage of barriers including language, cultural, economic, and educational barriers. Few after-school programs are designed to meet these challenges. Real Life strives toward providing this demographic with fun, educational, and “real-life” applicable lessons and activities that will help them become successful in their adult life and contributing members of society. 

When Real Life started back in 2010, Real Life provided 15 volunteers mentoring 20 refugee youth in the Salt Lake area. Real Life has now expanded to fourteen after-school programs reaching over 500 refugee youth. Real Life serves refugee, immigrant, or low-income students ranging from kindergarten all the way up to 12th grade.

Real Life Programs start in November and continue to the middle of May teaching financial literacy, STEM, self-care, coping skills, team building, arts, and social skills. All the while, Real Life creates volunteering opportunities for humanitarians on the Youthlinc Service Year and other college and high school students who are on track to earn the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, a prestigious award created to honor the most outstanding volunteers and recognize the impact they make.