Blake Lancaster

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This course was rather interesting. I came in with the intentions of improving my journalism writing and writing skills as a whole, which certainly did happen, but I also explored and learned about a whole new piece of our community here in Utah.

Before I walked into the first day and heard the topic of our beat was to be refugees, I had slim to zero knowledge on refugees in Utah. This led to me being both nervous and interested in getting going with the course.

Now thanks to new reporting skills, not only have I gained an awareness of refugees within our community, but also a fascination. It was great to hear from people like Aden Batar from Catholic Community Services, Gerald Brown from the Refugee Services Office and everyone else I had the pleasure of interviewing. They were able to teach me about refugees within Utah, their journeys, show me what their organizations do for them, what us as individual members of the community can do to help and so much more.

Blake Lancaster getting his picture taken by his mom on his 21st birthday.

An interesting part of the interview process was how I in fact felt like an outsider when interviewing those who were well experienced with refugees. If I had any inside knowledge on the beat topic this semester, I feel as though the reporting would have gone smoother. Every interview, however, more or less told me that one of the hardest aspects of being a refugee is feeling like an outsider and a lack of friends in their new country. It made me want to be less of an outsider when it comes to refugees in Salt Lake City.

As a result of my reporting this semester, I feel levels ahead in regards to my journalistic skills, especially my interviewing ability. I feel like a better writer and I feel thankful I got to learn about fefugees in Salt Lake City, their integration process and about the local organizations that assist them with this process.

ABOUT ME:

Blake Lancaster, 21, is a senior at the University of Utah who currently works at a restaurant called Franck’s. He is focused on graduating in 2018 with a degree in communication (and an emphasis in strategic communications) and a minor in business minor. When he isn’t at school or work, he’s likely snowboarding in Big Cottonwood Canyon when it’s cold or playing video games with his friends and roommates at home.