Our 2022 Students for Economic Justice (SEJ) program has begun! We’re thrilled to be able to continue the SEJ program this year. As we are still working within the constraints of COVID-19, we will conduct a hybrid SEJ program this year to ensure the safety of our staff, interns, and community partners.
Beginning in 2000, the SEJ internship program has trained San Diego’s next generation of social change and economic justice leaders and organizers. This intensive full-time, $20 an-hour, six-week program provides college students with a framework that centers worker and racial justice and the varying ways to approach local politics, organizing, and political education through that lens. The program is paired with hands-on experience with community organizations and local labor unions. SEJ graduates have gone on to work in local unions, social justice nonprofits, and elected offices in the San Diego region.
The SEJ program coordinator this year is Sarah Farouq. Sarah was an SEJ intern in 2017 and is back with CPI as an organizer. As an SEJ intern, Sarah worked on a minimum wage enforcement campaign with CPI. Sarah’s SEJ experience was her entry point to organizing. Sarah hopes to continue the SEJ legacy of finding and supporting the next generation of San Diego organizers and leaders.
Read below and get to know the interns and what brought them to the program!
Nicholas Martin (He/Him)
Nick Martin (He/Him/His) is a student of Economics with an emphasis in Policy at San Diego State University with aspirations to become a policy analyst. At 24, Nick is continuing to develop his tenacity, compassion and knowledge on handling work within the organizing and political space. His goals involve empowering folks to build awareness on the importance of participation in local politics as well as understanding the ramifications of the climate crisis in Black and Latinx communities.
Eliana Jimenez (They/She)
Eliana Allize Jimenez is a first generation Nicaraguan-American from South-East Los Angeles. They are a recent graduate of SDSU with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, with a minor in Counseling & Social Change. During their time at SDSU, they were introduced to community organizing through being a part of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán), a student organization that aims to provide accessibility to underrepresented students on campus as well as uplifting the community knowledge we learn outside of academia. When they are not in school, they enjoy being in community, and volunteering at Centro Cultural de la Raza. They are also very passionate about art and utilizing creativity as a therapeutic practice.
Lizeth Ruvalcaba (She/Her)
A San Diego native and current first-generation UCSD Poli-Sci student, Lizeth Ruvalcaba has strived to give back to her community over the years as an EHC canvasser, Nora Vargas Student Organizer, and AFT intern. Lizeth’s favorite campaign she worked on centered around collecting testimonies of the portside community members affected by the USS Bonhomme Richard fire. When Lizeth’s time does not revolve around school or work, she loves to take her dog on a walk, watch K-Dramas, try new foods and spend time going down bookstore aisles.
Amena Radwan (She/Her)
Amena Radwan is a third year transfer student to San Diego State. She has experience in organizing through the Palestinian Youth Movement and is currently a student representative for the San Diego Unified School District on the Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee. Her interests include fighting for social and economic justice as a Palestinian woman born and raised in San Diego, and spending time learning about her culture. Amena is happy to be interning with SEJ!
Amaya Childes (She/Her)
Amaya Childes is so excited to join the Students for Economic Justice program! She is a recently graduated third year from San Diego State University, who earned her bachelors in Sociology with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Weber Honors College and a Certificate in Human Rights. Amaya is interested in improving the lives and experiences of marginalized communities, and has pursued this through community action and service within her collegiate experience. For the past several years, Amaya has taken an active role in student leadership, through student government, greek life, and residential education. Amaya’s experiences in these roles have given her leadership and communication skills, as well as the opportunity to serve San Diegans. She will also be attending graduate school in the fall. Amaya is so grateful to join the Students for Economic Justice program and to get the opportunity to serve the greater San Diego Community.
Ana Isabel Serrano (She/Her)
Ana Isabel Serrano is a San Diego City College student transferring to UCSD this next fall to complete a social psychology BS. She is interested in social movements, mental health, and policy. She has been an AFT intern for two semesters now and is looking forward to learning more about and supporting the labor movement.
Nikolai Barry (He/Him)
Nikolai Barry is a first year student at San Diego Mesa College. He was an essential worker throughout the entirety of the pandemic and the experiences he shared with coworkers cemented his interest in organizing and the greater labor movement as a whole. He has been a steward for the store he works at through UFCW Local 135 for just about half a year now. He loves trying new things and putting himself outside of his comfort zone. He looks forward to participating in SEJ and is ready to help in any way that he can.
Rima Alkhateeb (She/Her)
Rima Alkhateeb is a second year student at the University of San Diego. She has been involved in her community since she and her family came to San Diego. She is interested in meeting new people and hearing their stories. She has been a member of the Majdal Center’s Youth Leadership Council. She loves adventures and is not afraid of trying new things. She wants to be a leader who can make a positive difference and change. Rima is very excited for the SEJ internship and ready to work with others.
If you would like to support the next generation of Social Justice leaders in San Diego, please consider making a donation of any amount that is meaningful to you. Donations support SEJ interns’ wages, training materials, travel costs, and tech needs for virtual learning.
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