Driven By Podcast

Refuge Empowerment Program | What It Takes To Go ‘All In’

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Can you imagine having to flee your country and walk over 200 miles? Can you imagine staying in a refugee camp for 5 years in horrible conditions, spending all your money to get to the United States and then starting a refugee empowerment program? In fact, you care so much about this work that you work the first 6 months without pay. That’s what this organization is about. Today we have the directors of Refugee Empowerment Program, Sara Babb and Cam Echols with me on my show.


  • Good morning Sara and Cam. Cam – what was it like volunteering and leaving your job to join R.E.P? (2:12)
  • When you said, “I know that was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life”, what did that mean? (4:45)
  • Sara, how long have you been involved in R.E.P and what made you want to go all in on this organization? (6:15)
  • Cam, when you first started were there any moments where you were like, “Why am I doing this?” (8:17)
  • From a generosity standpoint, it’s hard enough to start a business from scratch. I’d imagine it’s even harder to start an after school refugee program from scratch since it’s not for profit. What was it like raising money for that? (10:16)
  • I hear you and your commitment – working for free and working out of belief. Sounds like Memphis Leadership Foundation has been a meaningful relationship, is that true? (13:47)
  • Sara, what drew you to this work early on? (14:25)
  • Cam can you talk about what it’s like to take a risk to go on a journey that is rewarding but also very hard? (15:50)
  • Can you talk about challenges with Mama Ruth coming over here? (18:16)
  • Can you talk a little bit about the core fundamentals that R.E.P believes in? (21:37)
  • Mama Ruth sounds like a tough lady! How does it work to work together with 3 passionate people? Can you talk about the good lessons and tough lessons learned? (23:49)
  • R.E.P is almost 20 years in. What does it look like now and what are you shooting for next? (28:24)
  • What other lessons have we not talked about that are worth sharing? (32:04)
  • So you came in and had a 5 year plan, but we’re close to 20 years in. Things don’t always follow the schedule. So is the takeaway that you need to know the end road and it’ll be a windy road to get there? (34:10)
  • I’d love to close by learning a little more about the characteristics of the refugees that you see (36:47)

Refugee Empowerment Program