As we all know, working during the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of life-changing and strange. My pre-COVID workspace is now confined to the four walls of my on-campus apartment. It is safe to say that nowadays, the word “normal” seems loaded. Like many others, the act of navigating life during COVID has thrown the word normal out of the window. As someone who thrives off of communication and personal connections with peers, SAF retreats and weekly SAF meetings bring me a sense of normalcy that I truly do not think I would have found elsewhere.
I am truly grateful for the individuals that I have come to know and work with through Student Action with Farmworkers. A quick note about my peers is that I am nothing short of amazed by the passion and courage that is placed behind their work and the dreams they want to achieve. Whether that courage means that they just graduated from UNC Chapel-Hill as a first-generation college student, made the leap to submit the BIGGEST application of their life, or if they see the need for a change and have put everything in them towards making that change happen. I am delighted to be in the Solidaridad program with my peers and am genuinely happy to be a part of this opportunity to learn about farmworker justice. Although I tend to reserve my words on zoom meetings, I do enjoy being able to see others even if it isn’t face-to-face. Surprisingly, I am quite outgoing in-person and am learning to contribute to online interactions through my participation in SAF.
Overall, it is simple to say that the Levante Leadership Institute and my Solidaridad peers never fail to exhibit courage and passion in everything they do. I can wholeheartedly say that this short time at SAF has inspired me to leave this internship being emboldened to take on future endeavors even if they may seem frightening. I am grateful that Student Action with Farmworkers has become a part of my new “normal” and I look forward to the rest of this semester with my peers.