Brett Perfili



MY BLOG: Realizing Refugees

Brett Perfili, a journalism student at the University of Utah, riding in a boat at his favorite getaway spot in Delta, Utah.

Brett Perfili, a journalism student at the University of Utah, riding in a boat at his favorite getaway spot in Delta, Utah.

Before fall of 2008 I had no idea what a refugee was…really. I had heard the word and seen movies about them, but I would not have been able to explain exactly what a refugee is and what they are all about. Recently, I have learned. I now do know what a refugee is and the process it takes to resettle into the United States. I learned there are a variety of programs throughout the state of Utah that support refugees and assist them to start on the right path. A few of the organizations located in Salt Lake City that help include: The International Rescue Committee, The Catholic Community Services, The Department of Workforce Services, The Asian Association and the LDS church.

For people like I once was, who don’t know what a refugee is, these individuals are unlike an immigrant who is coming to the United States by choice to look for better opportunity. A refugee is forced to escape their country to get away from war or persecution because of race, religion or nationality. A refugee also must apply to get into the United States where they are issued an I-94 card, which proves a refugee’s legal status in the United States.

Many Americans don’t realize how rough people from other countries around the world can have it. Folks in the United States take so much for granted with what we have offered to us. There are people struggling all across the world trying to barely survive. Refugees I have spoken to have such different backgrounds than most people in the United States. How would you like to be forced to leave your country to escape beatings from authorities because you chose not to agree with a certain religion? This is just one example of the freedoms that exist in the Untied States that don’t in other countries. As hard as it would be to assimilate into American culture coming from third -world countries, the payoff can essentially be enormous for a refugee and also provide opportunity and success.



Ever since I was younger writing was something that had always interested me. As I grew up through grade school I always attended different workshops I was invited to for creative writing. As I got older I soon transformed my interest of creative, fiction, writing into real stories about real things. This is what led me to go after a degree in mass communication. Rather than broadcasting or picture taking I wanted to tell stories through print, which then brought me to news/editorial.

I have written for a number of papers through my college career. Papers include: The Globe at Salt Lake Community College, The Daily Utah Chronicle at the University of Utah, The Valley Journals, which is a monthly newspaper that brings in-depth local news to certain communities and most currently stories for the site.

I wanted to get involved with news writing to report on sports, and indeed, this is where I am most experienced. I am a big sports fan. I would not be able to cope with the daily stresses of life if it was not for the many sports I watch.

I have been in college since I graduated high school from Granger High located in West Valley City in 2002. I will finally be graduating from college in December of 2008. I am now 25 and the road to the end has been a long one because I have only gone to school at nights and the occasional early morning class because I work full-time at the Les Olson Company in South Salt Lake. Still, I feel courses I have taken and experience I have received have improved my writing skills and that it will only get better.

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