Scott Funk



When I first started this semester, I didn’t know what to expect. I was returning to school after taking a semester off and had the fear that my writing would be sub-par because of my break. When I found out the topic for our beat for the class, that fear spiked through the roof as I knew it was topic I was uncomfortable with.

Throughout my whole life I have avoided politics and anything related to that. I have never understood the topics that get talked about, nor have I ever taken an interest. So, when I heard that our beat was on refugees, I feared that I wouldn’t make it through the class — I didn’t even know what the definition of a refugee was.

Profile PicAs I learned the definition, my fear was softened just a little bit, but was still there because of the lack of confidence. I didn’t know where to begin. It wasn’t a topic that I knew anything about, and frankly it wasn’t a topic that interested me. As I began my research, I wanted to find a topic that I could relate to or had at least some interest in.

For my first story, I wrote on the New Roots program, which was centered around gardening and farming — which is something that I used to have an interest in so I figured it might be something I could relate to. And as I started learning about refugees and hearing their stories, I began to become more interested in their lives and their well-being.

As I grew in that interest, I centered my second story around Adjustment Groups, which are groups that are designed to help refugees from a mental standpoint become adjusted to the U.S. While doing this story, Gerald Brown told my class the significance that the involvement of interaction between Americans and refugees have on their lives. Because of that, it peaked my interest in becoming more involved.

I centered my enterprise and final story around a volunteer program called Know Your Neighbor. While writing this story, I had the most interaction with refugees and most eye-opening experiences. I’ll be honest — growing up I was one of those people who when I saw someone who was different than me, I wondered why they dressed, looked and acted differently than I did. I never once asked myself what their background or story might be. Today, every time I see someone who may, to me, fit the description of a refugee, I ask myself what their story might be and I’m curious to find out. I also learned a valuable lesson while attending a volunteer orientation meeting.

While at this orientation a volunteer told a story about a refugee whom she was working with. In this story, she described a conversation that she had with her refugee friend. Within this conversation, the refugee made the comment: “I have too much here.”

She was referencing her home, which was described by the volunteer as empty. But to the refugee, coming from the circumstances of facing death and persecution in her home country to now being in America, she thought she had everything – and in this case, too much. That was an eye-opening experience to me that made me appreciate the items and freedoms that I have in my life.

As a result of reporting on refugees this semester, I have found a new respect and understanding for the refugee community. I look at them differently. I understand them better. I don’t know everything about them, nor will I ever, but at least now I know something. I am no longer blind to circumstances within my own community. My plan is to continue to stay involved by becoming a volunteer, learning more and to hopefully  gain more eye-opening experiences that can change my life, for the better.


I am currently a student at the University of Utah pursuing a degree in communication in the journalism track and a minor in business. I am currently in line to graduate at the end of the Spring 2019 semester. Before attending The U, I graduated from Salt Lake Community College, where I hosted different sports radio talk shows, as well as wrote for The Globe.

I have interned at Cumulus Media, The Daily Utah Chronicle and ESPN700. Currently I am the beat writer for Utah Football as well as a producer for Utah Golf Weekly and Sports Saturday at ESPN700. I love sports, especially college football. I love being outside and spending time with my family. My career goal is to be a sports broadcaster/analyst and one day make it on ESPN.


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