Into the Fields
Where can I read more to learn about the experience of ITF interns?
How many ITF participants will there be in 2021?
Each summer, Student Action with Farmworkers places approximately 25 college students with organizations that serve, organize, or advocate for farmworker justice. SAF interns come from diverse backgrounds and about half are from farmworker families.
When will applicants be notified of selection and placement?
Applicants will be notified of selection results by March 12, 2021. Accepted applicants will have until March 21, 2021 to accept a position or be placed on a waiting list.
How are the stipend and scholarship paid to interns?
Interns will receive a stipend of $1,600, and a scholarship of $1,700. SAF is responsible for paying each intern. Interns receive their stipend in two installments, one at the orientation and one at the mid-retreat. Interns receive their scholarship at the completion of the program.
How does the fundraising work?
SAF requests that each intern fundraises at least $750. The total direct cost of each intern is approximately $9,000, which covers room & board during three trainings, furnished housing during the summer, travel costs, staff time, a stipend of $1,600, and a scholarship of $1,700. SAF will provide training and support for students completing their fundraising campaigns.
Where do interns work?
Most interns live & work in rural agricultural areas in the Carolinas – we place you with an organization based on your skills & interests. All placements consist of at least 50% office work as well as some outreach to farmworkers, their children, or meat processing workers. Common placement types include:
- Legal assistance positions provide free legal assistance such as "know your rights" trainings, educational materials, translation, assisting lawyers with paperwork & research. Outreach varies but can be 1-3 times/week.
- Health agency positions provide health education (ex. pesticides, nutrition), interpretation, case management & coordinate transportation to clinics. Outreach varies but can be 2-5 times/week.
- Migrant education positions advocate for improved educational opportunities for Latinx, migrant & immigrant youth. Interns may teach ESL classes, mentor students & educate parents about graduation requirements through migrant education programs. Outreach varies but can be 1-3 times/week.
- Community organizing positions support projects that benefit the community or create awareness. Interns have organized “know your rights” trainings, assisted with community gardens, produced short documentaries about working with pesticides & developed a bike program for farmworkers. Outreach is less frequent but can be 1-2 times/week.
- Union/Labor organizing positions support field & meat processing workers as they organize their workplace for better working conditions and pay. Interns may support meat processing workers to join or form a union, file grievances against their employer, organize events, create awareness in the community about consumer boycotts and farmworker-led campaigns. Outreach is less frequent but can be 1-2 times/week.
- Lobbying/Advocacy positions engage in the legislative process and work with state-wide coalitions on key issues such as tuition equity. There are approximately 2 positions available. Outreach is limited. (Preference given to Latinxs from NC).
Where do interns live?
In most cases, SAF coordinates and pays for interns’ summer housing. Interns are responsible for paying all utility costs not included in the monthly rent. Interns can use their SAF stipend to help cover other basic living expenses.
What are the documentary and theater projects?
In addition to working full-time at a farmworker organization, SAF interns work on one of the following projects:
Documentary students will get to know a group of workers more in-depth by conducting participatory documentary projects with workers to document their lives through photography, writing, and artwork. Students and workers will reflect on the documentary work together in discussions using popular education. Check out the documentary projects from past years.
Theater students will perform a skit to initiate dialogue among farmworkers and to mobilize them to come up with solutions to the issues they face. Performances take place in labor camps in the Piedmont and eastern NC and address issues important to workers; the 2021 topic is occupational and mental health. Read more about our theater work here.