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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
“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