Wenatchee Valley College student Alberto Aramburo has been selected as an intern by the High School Equivalency Program/College Assistance Migrant Program Association (HEP/CAMP). Nationally, Alberto is one of five college and university students selected for the internship and the only community college student selected. Alberto may be assigned to the Office of Migrant Education, Congressman Ruben Hinojosa’s office, the Office of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, or Congressman Xavier Becerra’s office for an eight-week period this summer.
During the internship, Alberto will have the opportunity to speak to the impact that migrant/seasonal farm work has had on his life. Alberto dropped out of high school, then obtained his GED through SkillSource and began working in the warehouses of CrunchPak, Stemilt and McDougall’s. Through these opportunities, he discovered the importance of hard work and attention to detail, and that he was capable of more.
“It was because of fruit packaging warehouses that I realized I wanted to be more than a supervisor or a construction worker,” he wrote in his internship application letter.
Alberto is now completing his first year in the WVC CAMP program, which helps students from migrant/seasonal farmworking backgrounds during their first year of college by providing academic and financial support services. He is also very involved beyond his classes at WVC. He volunteers as a CAMP recruiter, helping to answer questions about the program and sharing his own story. He also serves as a freshman representative on the WVC student senate and as a student representative on the Coalition for Drug Free Youth, volunteers at Colonial Vista, and works in the WVC Student Programs office through a CAMP-funded work-study position. He started school with the intention of becoming a mechanic, but is now pursuing math and teaching as career options. After graduating, he will pursue a bachelor’s degree at Eastern Washington University.
“I have those cold, damp fruit packaging warehouses to thank for my family’s health and almost every opportunity I have had presented to me,” Alberto wrote. “I don’t plan on taking them for granted again, and if one day I can give back to or better the agriculture communities, I will without hesitation.”
Alberto is the first student from WVC CAMP to be selected for the National HEP/CAMP Association Internship. “We’re excited to see what his future holds,” said Marcia Fall, WVC CAMP director. “He’s going to do great things because he is so determined.”
WVC CAMP is in its fifth year and has served 250 students, with 60 students enrolled for 2013-14. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Migrant Education.
Jim Richardson is president of Wenatchee Valley College. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org