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Boise State True Blue Scholar and Politico Journalist Ximena Bustillo Helps Establish Internship Program for Latino Students

Ximena Bustillo at her desk

Ximena Bustillo is an agriculture reporter for Politico. Before that, she worked for the Idaho Statesman, The Washington Times and KIVI-TV. Even before that, she was a True Blue Scholarship recipient at Boise State University working for the student newspaper, The Arbiter

“I think one of the most valuable things I did at Boise State was be part of the student newspaper. If it wasn’t for the hands-on experience I had at The Arbiter, I wouldn’t be in journalism right now.”

On April 8, Bustillo and fellow former Statesman reporter Nicole Foy launched the Voces Internship of Idaho, which provides paid internships in local newsrooms for Idaho Latinos pursuing an interest in journalism.

The program, funded by crowd-sourced donations and the Scripps Howard Foundation, has a goal of raising $20,000 to place as many interns as possible at an hourly wage of $15 — the first of whom will begin work in summer 2022. Interns do not need to have published their work in a newspaper or magazine before, and coursework can count as a writing sample. The program has received the endorsement of the Idaho Press Club, the statewide association of journalists.

“The Idaho Press Club is eager to connect students with newsrooms across the state, and we support Voces Internship of Idaho’s efforts to help our press corps reflect Idaho’s communities,” said Idaho Press Club Vice President Melissa Davelin. 

Two interns have already been named: College of Idaho student Mia Maldonado will spend her summer with the Idaho Capital Sun, and University of Idaho student Hugo Luna will spend his at 103.5 KISS FM. Applications for the fall semester are due no later than Wednesday, June 15. Bustillo and Foy continue to raise money, make newsroom and prospective intern connections across Idaho, and develop mentors and an advisory council. A fall semester deadline will be posted soon. Bustillo said the Voces Internship of Idaho is an important way for Idaho Latinos to gain work experience as journalists, increase the number of Latinos working in newsrooms eager to diversify their staffs, and better cover stories from Latino communities across the state. 

“The goal is simple: It’s to get more Latinos into Idaho newsrooms,” Bustillo said. “You know your community best and you want to be in the best position to tell the story in your community. There’s no one better to tell the stories of Latinos in Idaho.”

Learn more about the Voes Internship of Idaho.

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