Democracy Summer is an innovative internship program that exposes young leaders to new ideas and political movements, teaching them how to organize people around a shared vision for a better democracy in our state. The program also equips young people with lifelong skills that they can use to work for positive social change in their communities.
2021 is a critical year to win positive policies while there are no federal elections. We will be advocating for a fair redistricting process, solidifying the pandemic-related elections reforms we won in 2020, and more.
Every summer, Democracy NC hires a cohort of undergraduate students from NC community colleges, colleges, and universities to work as paid student organizers for nine weeks under the guidance of experienced Democracy NC organizers. Students work in organizing teams of two in concurrence with our organizing regions for the state; however, with the pandemic still going on, this internship will be remote and mostly digital.
Student organizers work full-time (including some evenings and weekends) from late May to late July and earn a stipend of $4,800 (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, student organizers work digitally in their region organizing for social change. They interact with civic leaders and veteran activists, meet elected officials, interact with the news media, and 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 organizers 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, Central Piedmont Community College