AFOP enjoys a wonderful partnership with the National Migrant Seasonal Head Start Association (NMSHSA), particularly when it comes to their internship program.  (See “All Grown Up and Ready to Fly.”)  Through NMSHSA, former farmworker children and graduates of Migrant Head Start programs come to DC to work at several area non-profits that further the causes of peace & justice, such as Farmworker Justice, Earthjustice, and MALDEF.  In the past, AFOP has hosted some of these interns, and we’ve gotten to know each one.

NMSHSA will be announcing the new internship Class of 2019 in May.  Those four individuals will be arriving in Washington, DC, on June 6, 2019.

We thought this was a good time to provide an update on previous years’ interns:  specifically, Julián, Celia, and Erika from the Class of 2018, and Eva from the inaugural Class of 2012.   We hope their pathways to success inspire even more farmworker children to greatness.  ¡Sí se puede!  You can do it, too!


NMSHSA Intern Class of 2018. From left to right: Erika Aguilera, Celia Vargas, Mireya Camacho, and Julián Martinez.
NMSHSA Intern Class of 2018. From left to right: Erika Aguilera, Celia Vargas, Mireya Camacho, and Julián Martinez.


Julián Martinez is a full-time graduate student taking 12 hours at West Texas A&M University pursuing a Master of Science in Finance and Economics.  He is beginning the second half of his first year and needs one more year of classes to graduate in 2020.  Depending on scholarships, he hopes to complete another graduate program after his current one.  Additionally, he will be applying for fellowships in DC and abroad this upcoming year.  Once he finishes with school, he wants to work at a law firm with the ultimate goal of becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for low-income families and individuals with an emphasis on single-parent homes.



Celia Vargas is working at Inspire Development Center as a lead teacher but is always looking for new opportunities to grow as an individual.  Ultimately, she wants to be in a position to help minorities and give back to her community in any way that she can.  She is excited to continue growing as an individual, team player, and leader.




Erika Aguilera is currently finishing up her undergraduate career at the State University of New York College at Oneonta.  Erika told us in April, “The final stretch is here and I cannot believe I will be graduating in May!  I will be receiving a B.A. in Philosophy and Spanish… After I graduate, I plan to take a gap year to take time for myself and discover what I would like to pursue in graduate school.”




Eva Alvarez is a graduate of the National Migrant Seasonal Head Start Association (NMSHSA) inaugural class of 2012.  She is the daughter of former seasonal farmworkers born in Royal City, Washington.  After completing the NMSHSA internship – a stepping stone in her professional career – she earned her bachelor’s degree from Washington State University in Political Science and Criminal Justice and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management and leadership from Western Michigan University.  In her professional career, she works as a Department of Justice Accredited Representative and Outreach Advocate for the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center representing migrant and seasonal farmworker clients before the Department of Homeland Security and Executive Office for Immigration Review.  Eva hopes to one day have her own legal practice and continue defending the rights of immigrants.


Farmworker kids often have to work doubly hard to break free from the vicious cycle of migrant work and poverty.  When they do, it’s with such force and momentum that they succeed in nearly everything they do, inspiring us all.


Congratulations to Julián, Celia, Erika, and Eva, on the many accomplishments you have already achieved, as well as the ones you’re still working on!  You’re amazing!