IPR’s Kassidy Arena Says Goodbye to Hola Iowa Readers

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When I first moved to Iowa to work for Iowa Public Radio to cover Latino, Spanish-speaking and immigrant communities, I didn’t know a soul. I didn’t know my colleagues and I for sure didn’t know the community I was supposed to share stories about. It was during the midst of the pandemic, so everyone was isolated indoors, making it even harder to make connections. At least that’s what I initially thought.

I learned very quickly through making phone calls and reaching out online that the community I was a part of was incredibly welcoming. And every day since then, I have been incredibly honored to meet you all, help share your stories and amplify your voices in the media.

It has been a privilege to know you and work with you. It has been a privilege to hold those in power accountable and an honor in making sure Latino communities received fair and accurate representation in our state. You deserve it. I am honored and humbled to have earned your trust and to have learned so much about Iowa’s Latino communities.

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I am thankful for my time with all of you in Iowa. Having said that, I am writing to let you know I have accepted a position with my alma mater the University of Missouri, Columbia as an Engagement Producer at the NPR-affiliate there. I will be continuing my reporting on underrepresented communities as well as community outreach and instructing introduction to journalism classes.

It was not an easy decision, and one of the first things I thought about was the fact that I would be leaving all of you. I know there are still so many stories to tell within our community. I encourage you all to continue using your voice to its utmost power and continue making Iowa a better place.

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I will always remember some of my favorite stories including one girl’s quarantine quinceañera, highlighting Latino-owned businesses and emphasizing the importance of Latinos in our Iowa community, economy and society.

The partnership I helped collaborate between Hola Iowa and Iowa Public Radio will forever remain close to my heart.

Please keep in touch,

Kassidy Arena

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