Ivana Martinez



During my reporting for Voices of Utah, I spent most of my time covering the Glendale Community Learning Center. From one room to the next there was always something happening, whether English classes, cooking, learning lab or sewing. I was incredibly fortunate to cover this community, as it serves so many members within Glendale. It is a place for people to come to gather and learn. As I got further into my beat, I realized that the Glendale community functions like an ecosystem, every element steadily relies on one another to function.

Ivana MartinezWhen I attended International Women’s Day at Glendale Middle School, standing in the middle of the cafeteria I was reminded of why I chose journalism as my career path. At that moment, with women from all different walks of life circling, dancing and cheering around me — I remembered what a privilege it is to help tell someone’s story. To showcase the victories and the setbacks each individual faces in their lives and communities. To be granted access to write about individuals who aren’t typically seen in our local news media. As journalists, we have a responsibility to accurately represent our communities and that often includes showcasing the underrepresented, the people who don’t have voices.

I like to think that journalism and I chose each other. It wasn’t one-sided, it was a calling that I was always meant to be doing this work. As someone who once lived within the Glendale community as a child, returning to report on it as an adult it felt full circle. I always knew I was a storyteller. I’ve always been drawn to stories, people and voice. One of the most satisfying things about being a journalist is breaking barriers, talking to individuals I normally wouldn’t and understanding them on a deeper level. I had the honor of interviewing members within the Glendale community who work to help facilitate activities and events for the community. These women are the fabric of these institutions.

One of the disappointments that I had during the semester was having to change my final story because of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Due to public school shutting down, I wasn’t able to complete my final story on the implications busing has on students and families. However, it did allow me to talk to high school senior students about their experience during this time, which was refreshing.

I hope to continue to highlight and write about institutions, events, and issues that are as important as the Glendale community in the future. Service journalism has opened my eyes to all the different stories the news media are often missing out on. It is critical to listen for the stories with the quiet beginnings, the stories that are overlooked or are woven into issues surrounding underrepresented communities. It is important to keep writing.


My first introduction to journalism came at a young age when my father worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Each day he’d come home with a paper fresh off the press. My eager fingers would reach out and skim the black and white pages until the ink stained my fingers. Looking back, I think I always knew that I would end up in a career involving storytelling. It’s in my blood, my roots, my ancestors. Story is who I am, it’s who I’ve always been. When I realized how powerful the work I did as a high school journalist was, I knew this was the career for me. It invited all elements I loved — writing, photography, and voice.

At the University of Utah, I am a communication major with an emphasis in journalism. I am heading into my senior year. After I graduate in Spring 2021, I plan on continuing my journey in the journalism field and looking to tell hidden, relevant and important stories around my community.

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