Honoring a single mother’s sacrifice: Kroesche family expands scholarship program to Utah Law

Jan 03, 2024 | Alumni

by Lindsay Wilcox

Paulina Barboza, a young woman with long brown hair and white skin wearing a brown blouse and dark blazerNavigating law school as a single parent has been challenging, but an understanding S.J. Quinney staff and faculty—and help from the Beatrice F. Kroesche Memorial Scholarship—have made the journey easier for 2L Paulina Barboza.

“I love the S.J. Quinney culture. I have always felt seen, especially as a nontraditional student. When I arrived at the school as a 1L, I was completely lost, like a deer in headlights. My professors and the law school’s deans helped me navigate my first year of law school and are understanding of my situation. My son has even attended class with me,” Barboza recalls. “S.J. Quinney offers a personal experience to law school, and the staff cares about the success of all of their students.”

Thomas R. Kroesche, who sits on the board of the Beatrice F. Kroesche Foundation, established the Beatrice F. Kroesche Memorial Scholarship at the University of Utah in 2001 in honor of his mother. He says the addition of law school scholarships is in support of the vision and leadership now in place at the law school. They aim to help lessen the financial burden so single parents, among others, can move forward in their education and careers and make a difference.

“When my mother was accepted to the law school, there were no financial or other support systems in place,” Kroesche recalls. “Her education (which began at the time she became a single parent), and the education of her children, all of whom became attorneys, was financed by working, student loans and refinancing her home three times.”

Kroesche, a 1982 Utah Law alum, also received his bachelor’s degree in German in 1976 and his MBA in 1982 from the University of Utah. He wants students and alumni to remember Beatrice’s adaptability, survival, perseverance, kindness, patience, and stubbornness.

“She believed that her gift to herself, and her children, was the joy, freedom and opportunity that comes with education and knowledge,” he says.

Barboza notes that S.J. Quinney has also provided her with significant opportunities to serve Utah’s minority and ethnic communities, which is what she loves most.

“I am passionate about social justice and civil rights advocacy, tenets I plan to incorporate into my own legal practice. As a member of historically underrepresented groups, I am eager to use my career to work with and assist underrepresented and marginalized people,” Barboza says. “In Salt Lake City, there is evident disparity amongst ethnic communities, particularly in available access to housing, employment, medical care, and legal representation. I plan to use my career in law to represent Utah’s racial and ethnic communities.”

Before law school, Barboza was working on her master’s in public administration, with an emphasis on government and public policy, and worked as a paralegal for the Small Business Administration.

“I plan to use my legal career to inspire progressive public policy for Utah’s ethnic communities. After graduating law school, my career aspiration is to work in government and public policy as a social justice and civil rights representative. I am eager to join those in Utah making extraordinary progress in addressing the challenging issues and discrimination throughout the state,” Barboza says. “I enjoy spending every minute I am not studying or attending class with my 6-year-old son, Mateo Gabriel. We love astronomy and learning about the planets, constellations, and galaxies. We also love to run and play basketball. Additionally, I am an apprentice beekeeper. My son and I love bees.”

This profile was originally published in the fall 2023 issue of Res Gestae.