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Leonard was forced to join the military at the age of 17 in his home country of the Congo. A Catholic priest smuggled me out of the country and I lived in refugee camps in several different countries until 2004 when he came to the United States.
In 2005, a couple came to Leonard when he was homeless in the Provo library. They found out that he needed help and offered to let me live with them. They ended up paying my tuition for my education and I went to college for five years.
Leonard uses his experiences to teach that with hard work it is possible to help others and teach them that no matter how hard a situation you are in, nothing can take you away from the blessings God has for you.
Leonard Bagalwa now serves as director of the Utah Community and Refugee Partnership Center, which he created to help “motivate, empower, enlighten, and transform refugees through education.” The center has assisted almost one hundred refugees since 2016.
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