Utah Refugee Ambassador Alex Boye’

Well, I think Alex Boye’ is going to be a great
addition to our team and a continuation of past efforts. I think he’ll raise the bar. I think he has an appreciation for the contributions
that refugees can make to our country. As we welcome people of good will who want
to come here and improve their lives, he is going to raise awareness – I think for all
of us – to have a better appreciation and a better understanding that these people are leaving from terror. They are running away from very bad, difficult
circumstances to a land of opportunity called America, and a state that’s willing to help them have that opportunity to become the best that they can be. You know, when you first think about refugees, and then you just think about struggle and sadness and hardship; which all of those things do
exist, and then you see them and they have these happy faces. They are looking at you with joy and with
opportunity in their hearts and their minds looking forward to something bigger than what
they had before. That’s really inspiring. What I’ve been trying to do is look and see what their talents are, because they have incredible talents. I’m seeing that there’s an opportunity here,
you know, to be able to help them to be entrepreneurial. My message to refugees is really the same
message that was told to me, and that is the value of who you really are. Don’t define yourself by what you went through,
because when you define yourself by your tragedies, you see yourself as a tragedy. Those things happened, but they are not who
you are: a powerful being. Once we realize that, we hold ourselves up
in a different level, we straighten our backs up more, we look into people’s eyes with more confidence,
and we say that I am not what happened to me. I am always going to be the same person. I am a person of value. Our hope for the refugees that come to Utah
is that they feel loved, that they feel welcome; that they feel like they are going to be given
an opportunity to become the best they can be, to get education, skills and training; to be a part of a positive contribution to
our society – a welcome contribution. I want them to feel like the people care about
them, that have empathy and understanding of what they’ve left and this new life,
that they are going to have an opportunity to start here in Utah and in this great country.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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