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Group helps teen refugees adjust to Utah life

Posted - Mar. 2, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Going to the grocery store is an everyday norm for most of us, but it can seem foreign and frightening for refugees new to the city.

YouthLINC, a Salt Lake City-based service organization, taught teen refugees nutrition and how to buy food at the store on Friday.

"They come from tin shacks, and then they are dropped here and are expected to join life in Utah and go to school," said Ellie Nazzal, Local Service Director for YouthLINC. "It's a hard transition, so we're here to help them get accustomed to Utah."

Salt Lake City has become a large resettlement location for refugees cast out by their native governments or fleeing war-torn countries.

Most of Salt Lake's refugee population have fled from Burma, Thailand, Somalia and Iraq.

In most refugee families, the responsibility to start a life in America mainly falls to teenagers.

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