'Every Step of the Journey': UVU Grad Heads to Sacramento as Part of Report for America Program

   

Recent Utah Valley University graduate Kimberly Bojórquez has been given the prestigious opportunity to work as a journalist through Report for America.

Report for America is a national service program from the GroundTruth Project that places journalists into local newsrooms to report about marginalized communities or issues. This competitive program only hired 225 reporters from over 1,800 applicants. This year, Kimberly Bojórquez is one of them.

Bojórquez graduated from Utah Valley University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in Latin American studies. As a first-generation student at UVU, she began her college reporting career with a bang, working for the campus newspaper, The UVU Review, as a freshman.

During her freshman year, Bojórquez noticed the lack of Latino stories in the newspaper and didn’t hesitate to make the change. In 2015, her first-ever published story featured a first-generation Latino film student. Now, in her new role, she will be entirely focused on covering Latino communities.

Starting in June, Bojórquez will be stationed in Sacramento, California, covering how the state’s policy and legislation affects Latino communities for the California newspaper, The Sacramento Bee.

“I’ve always been drawn to telling the story of underrepresented communities,” Bojórquez said. “Latinos are a growing population in the U.S. and yet are overwhelmingly represented in immigration or crime stories. The complexity of Latino communities is often lost when they are stereotyped and misunderstood.”

With many newsrooms across the nation experiencing financial uncertainty and decreases in personnel, Bojórquez has always been well aware that the journey of pursuing journalism would not be an easy one. The challenges of this environment seem to have only increased her motivation. 

“When newsrooms close or lay off reporters, it creates a less-informed community where public officials aren’t held accountable,” Bojórquez said. "It also creates 'news deserts.'"

News deserts are communities with limited access to credible news and information. Report for America is a program that exists to eliminate these news deserts as much as possible. As one of its reporters, Bojórquez will be serving this cause through reporting and community service.

Vegor Pedersen, the coordinator of Student Media at UVU, served as Bojórquez’s undergraduate mentor and supervisor at The UVU Review. He remarks on her unfailing determination and grittiness that got her to this position.

“I haven’t encountered another student as focused on the next step as her,” said Pedersen. “But more importantly than all that, she has been a good journalist. It takes years to build a reputation as a reporter. Kim started doing that during her freshman year and never stopped.”

Bojórquez’s time at UVU and beyond beautifully boasts of this grit and determination. While at The UVU Review, she became the news editor and eventually the editor-in-chief. She then served in the prestigious role of presidential intern to UVU Vice President Cameron Martin in University Relations during her senior year. After graduation, she secured a position as news division intern for the Deseret News which later turned into a full-time job.  

“Kim is a team player, a tenacious worker, and a thoughtful editor. Her pieces are no-nonsense and tightly written,” Pedersen said. “Most importantly, she is an honest advocate for the reader and their right to know.”

Now, Bojórquez is heading to Sacramento to continue following her passion and dream of journalism.

“A lot of people helped me to get to where I am today — dozens of professors, advisors, and mentors,” Bojórquez said. “Every step of your journey — no matter how small it may seem at the time — matters.”

 A screenshot of one of Kim Bojórquez's articles for the Deseret News.

A screenshot of one of UVU grad Kimberly Bojórquez's articles for the Deseret News.

Every step of your journey — no matter how small it may seem at the time — matters.