May 21, 2013 – CSUB Senior Eleazar Gutierrez, is among four migrant seasonal farm-working students across the United States, that have been selected to travel to Washington DC this summer for an internship with the National Migrant Seasonal Head Start Association (NMSHSA). The seven-week program will replace working in the fields under the sweltering summer heat, with professional mentoring that will provide life altering experiences and networks to help the students make the transition from agricultural life to the life of a professional.
The goal of Migrant Seasonal Head Start programs is to prepare children to enter school ready to learn. This is done by supporting brain development and building healthy social-emotional foundations, which lays the groundwork for future capacity and thus, school readiness. Born from a desire to remove as many obstacles to academic success as possible, President Johnson created Head Start in 1965, as part of his War on Poverty. This year, President Obama reaffirmed the value of Head Start by proposing a 1.6 billon dollar increase to extend the Early Head Start opportunity to more children.
"Every student needs a helping hand and a mentor. We all had someone help us get where we are today," states Cleo Rodriguez, Jr., Executive Director of NMSHSA. "NMSHSA is proud to extend a hand to four amazing students from across our great nation. We hope our investment will exponentially impact the lives, goals, and dreams for our interns, and in turn we hope these new professionals will impact the lives of countless other migrant and seasonal youth in years to come!"
Gutierrez is currently a senior at CSUB majoring in Sociology. He is the oldest of three sons, and lives with his family in the Arvin community. He grew up seeing both his parents work in the agricultural fields of Kern County, and credits them with always providing the support and guidance he needed, and for serving as role models to continue his education.
"I am very honored and excited to have been selected," said Gutierrez. "Through this internship, I hope to learn as much as I can, represent my community in a great way, and demonstrate to individuals that I am the proud product of farm-working parents who taught me that education opens up many doors of opportunities."
The NMSHSA internship offers: stipends, on-the-job training, networking opportunities, professional skills development, leadership development and mentoring from consummate D.C. professionals, many of whom are also former migrant/seasonal farm workers.
The other three students selected for the internship are: Magdalena Hernandez, a Human Development major with an emphasis on early childhood at Washington State University, Erika Rios, who is majoring in Special Education at Michigan State University, and Raul Larios, who studied pre-med at Portland Community College and is now on his way to the University of Oregon. To follow their journey during their internship, visit http://nmshsainternblog.blogspot.com/.
For more information on NMSHSA, visit www.nmshsaonline.org.
For more information on CSUB, please visit www.csub.edu.
For more information:
Director, Public Affairs &
Public Affairs Coordinator
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications