Skip to main content

Democracy Summer interns get real-world experience in organizing, communications, and advocacy. In 2019, students lobbied the NC Legislature for 5 positive policies that would strengthen voting rights. As a result, we won back the popular last Saturday of Early Voting! In 2020, interns innovated the digital advocacy space by preparing voters online for the 2020 General Election, resulting in the highest voter turnout in history! In 2021, interns beat back 5 anti-voter & racist bills that would have harmed all North Carolinians.

Each year, we transform outstanding students into frontline advocates for democracy.

Democracy Summer is an innovative internship program that exposes young leaders to new ideas and political movements. We teach our interns how to organize people around a shared vision for a better democracy in our state, address structural barriers to civic engagement, and build power alongside historically marginalized groups. This program equips young people with lifelong skills that they can use to work for positive social change in their communities.

Applications for next year will open spring 2023.

Program Overview

Every summer, Democracy NC hires a cohort of undergraduate students from NC community colleges, colleges, and universities to work as paid student interns for 10 weeks under the guidance of experienced Democracy NC staff. With the pandemic still going on, this internship may be partially in-person and partially remote. Students work in one of our three departments — Organizing, Communications, or Research — to gain valuable skills and experience while fighting for a democracy that works for all.


  • 10 Interns will work in teams of two in concurrence with our five organizing regions for the state (West, Western Piedmont, Central Piedmont, Southeast, East).
  • Interns will learn how to recruit and train new advocates on local advocacy, educate community members on how our elections work, start preparing folks for voting in the fall, and much more.

Student interns work up to 40 hours per week (including some evenings and weekends) from late May to late July and earn a stipend of $5,000 (taxable) for the summer.

This is a full-time job, so students taking summer classes or have other, part-time work cannot realistically participate in the program.

"I want to thank Democracy NC because I see how much I've grown as a leader and an organizer, & I'm proud of myself for stepping out from behind the scenes to fight for what's right."

- Khalil J. Cobb, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Democracy Summer starts with a mandatory training retreat, then interns work in their respective departments fighting for social change. They interact with civic leaders, veteran activists, elected officials, the news media, and of course each other and Democracy NC staff. Interns gain an insider’s view of the political climate, legislative process, and power structure in North Carolina.


Who Can Apply

Students must be able to participate in the entire summer program to be eligible.

Democracy Summer is ideal for students interested in a career in public service, politics, a non-profit field, or community-based work. All rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled in NC community colleges, colleges, and universities are eligible to apply. Because student interns are responsible for covering their own housing, most participants apply to work in cities where they have family or other living arrangements available. The ideal applicant will have:

  • A passion for racial, social, and economic justice
  • An ability to communicate with diverse groups of people
  • An interest in and a general understanding of local and/or state level politics
  • An ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Strong public speaking skills

How To Apply

1. Complete the online application for Organizing here.

2. AND, send your cover letter and resume to the email noted in the application.

“When I moved to America from Mexico, I wanted to empower the Latinx community, who feel like their voices aren't important. It is my turn to make my new home just, diverse, and of equal opportunity to everyone. Democracy NC gave me the skills to get started.” –Veronica Fonseca, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Democracy Summer Flyer

Send this resource to your family and friends who want to get involved in advocacy!