Kenzie Wilkinson

MY STORY:

MY BLOG:

For this beat, I initially expected to have a challenging time finding sources, connecting with individuals from the community, and finding meaningful stories to write. I had concerns about appropriately sharing stories of my sources and felt immense responsibility for the accuracy of my writing.

As I began to form story ideas, I found so many individuals who were willing to share their incredible and unique stories. I learned that other journalists are willing to help find sources, and it was inspiring to be surrounded by other journalists who rooted for each other’s success.

I saw the benefits of networking. It is amazing how interconnected we are as a community. Over the course of the semester, my expectations changed once I realized I had access to all the resources I needed. I had higher standards for myself as a journalist and was able to focus on writing techniques, networking, and exploring the best way to structure my stories.

My beat taught me that there are so many stories that need to be shared, and so many lessons that need to be learned. Here in Utah, there’s a story behind every voice and it is my job as a journalist to represent those voices. Reading these stories about people who come from every walk of life allows us to grow and become better. We can learn from the experiences of others, and that’s what this beat has been all about for me.

Being involved in the Asian American community has opened my eyes to the realities of cultural appropriation, the assimilation of cultures, and the difficulties of being part of a minority. Hearing the stories of Asian American sources whom I interviewed gave me the opportunity to empathize, celebrate and be a part of a culture within our community that I previously had little experience with.

Covering the representation of Asian-American fashion in Utah particularly resonated with me because of my desire to be a fashion designer. I was able to understand the importance of properly representing a culture. It was inspiring to see the confidence that came when one was able to accept and have pride in every part of their identity. It takes confidence to show who you are through clothing, and I am grateful I got to cover this in our beat.

I have had epiphanies about how passionate I truly am when it comes to sharing the voice of individuals. I love to write inspiring stories that help us to connect with one another. I have always wanted a career where I feel I am making a difference, and I feel I am doing that with my writing. I feel much more confident in starting out my career through the experiences I have had during this beat.

I have learned that I am capable of handling hard situations. During this course I have been forced to get outside of my comfort zone. I have gained more confidence in my writing and know I could cover any beat.

ABOUT ME:

Kenzie Wilkinson graduated from the University of Utah in August 2022 with her bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis in journalism. During her senior year, she completed an internship with the nonprofit organization GK Folks Foundation. As the foundation’s social media manager, Kenzie oversaw creating and posting content on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. She had the opportunity to help fulfill GK Folk’s goals, which are providing mental health, entrepreneurial, and educational assistance to African immigrants and refugees.

Kenzie also participated in an international study program in Europe. There, she got to chase after her main passion, fashion design. She visited Edinburgh, Paris, and London, where she attended workshops and took classes.

Her academic achievements include being on the Dean’s list six semesters in a row and graduating with a 3.89 GPA.

Kenzie plans to attend fashion design school soon and hopes to continue her career in fashion journalism.  

In her free time, Kenzie enjoys skiing, boating, rock climbing, and heavy weightlifting. She is always trying to find new hobbies to add to her skill set.

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