Fresno State students receive internship to help farmworkers

Migrant farm workers transplant jalapeno sprouts from trucks into the soil at a farm on March 7, 2018, in Lamont, Calif. Two California Democrats filed legislation that would give undocumented immigrant farmworkers and their families a path to legal resident status and possibly U.S. citizenship. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Two Fresno State students have been selected to participate in the Into The Fields (ITF) internship program, which educates and trains individuals on issues that surround farmworkers and agriculture.

Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF), a nonprofit organization, has awarded Victor Godinez and Rosalba Raymundo, among 23 other participants, with $1,600 for the ITF program and a $1,500 scholarship upon completion of the program, according to its director Ramon Zepeda.

Starting on June 10, both students will be working with organizations in North Carolina.

Godinez, a criminology major, will work with a legal agency and visit farmworkers’ homes and job sites to inform them of their legal rights.

“My task will be to notify them that they have rights and shouldn’t fear the threats that come from their employers,” Godinez said.

During his freshman year of high school, Godinez started working in the fields with his mother, who has been a fieldworker for four years. This experience gave him a strong desire to be part of the ITF program, he said.

Raymundo, a pre-nursing major, will be placed in a health care clinic, where she will put her nursing skills to use. Raymundo became a certified nursing assistant during her senior year of high school.

“I know I can do so much more with a healthcare background,” Raymundo said.

One of her goals is to become a nurse practitioner and help low-income communities in Mexico that do not have enough resources to treat people.

Raymundo and Godinez learned about the internship through Fresno State’s College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP). CAMP works with students from farmworkers’ families by providing them with resources to succeed in college.

“We have had the fortune to have two students selected from Fresno State to attend annually,” said Ofelia Gamez, CAMP’s program director.
Godinez and Raymundo will have to complete 35-40 hours of volunteer work, write three guided writings/blogs and complete a documentary project, among other duties during their internships, according to the SAF official website.

The ITF participants will travel to North Carolina starting June 1 and will end their program on Aug. 11.

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