TIFTON-An Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College student has been selected for one of eight spots on a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) internship program for students from migrant and farmworker backgrounds. The internship begins this summer at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Jamileth Sanchez Guillen, an animal science major from Fort Valley, was one of eight students selected from across the United States.
The program is in partnership with the National HEP/CAMP Association, comprised of universities, colleges, and nonprofit organizations that administer a High School Equivalency Program (HEP) and/or a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP). This internship program is administered by USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).
“It’s extremely competitive,” said April Salas, ABAC’s CAMP associate director. “It’s open to both current and former students, so it’s more competitive because there’s a bigger applicant pool. I’m extremely proud of her for applying and getting it, very proud.”
She said she encouraged Guillen to apply for the internship because she saw that she has the drive and excels academically.
“She is one of the top performing students in our program,” Salas said.
Guillen will spend 10 weeks at USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) gaining work experience and learning about career opportunities available within the Department.
She said that she hopes to go on to veterinary school, and that this internship and the opportunities she has received through ABAC will help her get there.
“It really helped that we were never alone,” she said. “I had my mentor and she was really helpful for me.”
Guillen also said that the support and push she received from the CAMP program helped to push her out of her shell and become involved both on campus and in organizations. She was recently elected as an officer at the American Collegiate Horsemen’s Association’s national convention.
Salas said that CAMP students are often the first in their families to attend college and are not sure of what to expect from the experience.
“The goal is to provide both that academic support as well as that social and emotional support that these students need,” Salas said. “We help talk them through the ups and downs that come with being a first-generation college student and we provide financial support if it’s necessary. These students are able to build that strong foundation so that they can get through that first year and continue on. That’s the goal.”
The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) helps students in their first year of college with academic, personal and financial support and serves approximately 2,400 migrant participants annually. Nearly three-quarters of all CAMP students graduate with baccalaureate degrees.
For more information about ABAC’s CAMP program, call 229-391-4884 or by email at email@example.com.
Jamileth Sanchez Guillen, an animal science major from Fort Valley, was one of eight students selected from across the United States for a USDA internship program. Pictured left to right are Dr. Tracy Brundage, ABAC President; Guillen; and Olga Contreras-Martinez, ABAC Director of Multicultural Porgrams.