Real Salt Lake and American Express are proud to recognize Joj Kwizera as the recipient of the “Hero Among Us” honor on July 3rd. Joj is a refugee teenager who is giving back to the community that has given so much to him. When Joj was eight years old his parents were killed in war torn Congo; he and his 3 sisters were forced to flee their home. In 2010 Joj and his sisters made their way to Salt Lake City through the Catholic Community Services’ Refugee Foster Care Program and found a new home with the Bartlett family. Joj’s favorite hobby is soccer; he grew up watching his father play and followed in his footsteps. Joj is now using his favorite hobby to help other refugee children. Joj collects soccer balls, uniforms and equipment for newly arriving refugee children because he knows firsthand the problems young refugees face and hopes to help them through the gift of soccer.
RSL VP of Corporate Sales Andy Carroll, Joj Kwizera, and American Express representative Mike Burningham
Real Salt Lake and American Express are proud to recognize Jackson Sommers as the recipient of the “Hero Among Us” honor on July 20th 2013. When Jackson was 2 years old doctors discovered that his cerebellum was not developing properly and told his parents that their son would never walk on his own. The family left the hospital devastated but also determined to prove the doctors wrong. They started Jackson in therapy and made sure to always reinforce in Jackson that he could do anything. By the time Jackson was 5 years old he had learned to walk without the aid of his walker. Jackson soon found an interest in soccer. His parents were hesitant to let him play but they had always taught him that he could do anything so they gave him a shot. The first game was rough; Jackson fell every time the ball came near him and his mom was sure that he would give up. She was wrong. Jackson had found a passion for soccer and was determined to learn to play. By the end of his first season Jackson could play a whole game without falling and had scored his first goal. Soccer had become the best therapy for Jackson and taught him that he would always have a team in his corner cheering him on.
RSL VP of Corporate Sales Andy Carroll, Jackson Sommers, his parents, and American Express representative Michelle Pamplin