Meet our 2022 Labor Summer Interns

UC Berkeley Labor Center

We’re thrilled to introduce the Labor Center’s Labor Summer 2022 intern class! Now in its third decade, Labor Summer is a dynamic internship that connects students with the labor movement in California.

In our largest cohort ever, these 33 standout students are divided into two tracks: “Learn Organizing Skills” and “Applied Research and Policy” and will begin their internship on June 20. They will be learning from and working with labor and community organizations to support the state’s working people, including farmworkers, healthcare workers, hotel workers, and tenants.

We thank the following organizations for hosting our interns this summer:

California Domestic Workers Coalition
Center for Caregiver Advancement
East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy
Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco
IFPTE Local 21
National Union of Healthcare Workers
North Bay Jobs with Justice
SEIU Local 2015
SEIU USWW
Teamsters Local 2010
Trabajadores Unidos Workers United
UFCW Local 5
UNITE HERE Local 2850
UPTE-CWA Local 9119 – San Francisco
Working Partnerships USA

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE LABOR SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM!

Research Interns

Born in the Mission District and raised in the East Bay, Cindy Guadalupe Reyes graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in social policy. She developed her policy expertise at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where she led projects, engaged in research, and developed policy reports and recommendations to advocate for an anti-racist social safety net. Cindy enjoys roller skating, using public transit, and rooting for her favorite basketball teams (go Warriors!). Labor Summer host site: North Bay Jobs with Justice.

Originally from Indiana, Devon Baker graduated from Pomona College with a degree in anthropology. Having entered college from the foster care system, Devon has always been passionate about organizing around affordable housing and prison abolition. Much of their academic focus has been on the gig economy and efforts to thwart organizing within the gig economy. Outside of organizing and school, they love gaming, making music, and eating and/or cooking new foods. Labor Summer host site: California Domestic Workers Coalition.

Kathy Lara is a master’s student in UC Irvine’s Urban Planning and Regional Development Program and graduated from UCLA with a degree in international development and workplace and labor studies. Kathy became involved in the labor movement organizing with SEIU and United for Respect. She is excited to employ her data analysis, research, and mapping knowledge to advance worker organizing and power. She also enjoys walking her dog, hiking, and taking care of her plants. Labor Summer host site: California Domestic Workers Coalition.

Lili Banihashem is a junior at UC Berkeley studying data science (with a concentration in inequalities in society) and ethnic studies. In the future, she hopes to use data science as a tool to serve working and other marginalized communities. In her free time, Lili loves listening to music, playing piano, and spending time with her friends. Labor Summer host site: Working Partnerships USA.

Luisa Tembo is a second-year MPP candidate at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a representative for the class of 2023. As an immigrant woman from Angola, Luisa is passionate about advancing immigrant rights and racial, economic, and gender justice. Luisa worked at the Solís Policy Institute at the Women’s Foundation of California and the Immigration Legal Services program at Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. Luisa graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a degree in political Science and a minor in ethics, public policy, science and technology. Labor Summer host site: Center for Caregiver Advancement.

Marissa “Mari” Nunez is a master’s student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UC Austin with research interests in immigration, labor, and prisons. Previously, Mari worked as a project coordinator for Innovation Law Lab, where she coordinated legal services for individuals in immigration detention in her hometown, El Paso, Texas. She serves as the president of the Student Collective for Abolitionist Learning at the LBJ School. Mari graduated from St. John’s University with a bachelor’s degree in enterprise regulation and a minor in dramatic arts. Labor Summer host site: Teamsters Local 2010.

MT Snyder is a graduate student in Cornell’s Industrial and Labor Relations School. At Cornell, she is the Secretary of the Graduate Labor Organization and worked as a research assistant for The Worker Institute on the Labor Leading on Climate Project. Previously, MT worked as a job coach for refugees and immigrants with a Bay Area non-profit. MT graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Middle Eastern and environmental studies. Labor Summer host site: UC Berkeley Labor Center.

Nidhi Nair is a rising senior at the University of Connecticut studying economics and mathematics-statistics. She is the President of the UConn Economics Society, founder of the Invisible Hand Speaker Series, and a research assistant for several projects. Nidhi has been recognized as a United Nations Millennium Fellow, as a Werth Innovator and as a Leadership Legacy scholar for her financial inclusion work. She previously interned at the Brookings Institution and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Labor Summer host site: Working Partnerships USA.

Organizing Interns

Hailing from San Bernardino, Abigail Cole is a recent graduate of UCSD with a bachelors in psychology and minor in global health. She is passionate about using her voice to amplify the needs of young people. Abigail was a leader on campus and served as a Resident Advisor, Early Academic Outreach College Advisor in Southeast San Diego. She also interned at Californian’s for a Responsible Budget in communications and media. Labor Summer host site: National Union of Healthcare Workers

Alex Wong is an undergraduate at Northwestern University studying environmental science and creative writing, with a focus on poetry. They have organized with Warehouse Workers for Justice, the Chicago Tenants Movement, and Students Organizing for Labor Rights, which have inspired a dedication to movement work. They are also passionate about caring for their cat, Soba, and tending to their body through rock climbing and longboard dancing/freestyle. Labor Summer host site: Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco.

Alexandra Slusser-Banh is a senior at UC Davis majoring in Asian American studies and sociology. She is a peer advisor for Asian American studies and a DJ for the UCD radio station KDVS. Throughout 2022, she has been working on a senior thesis project studying Asian Americans and labor unions in the Bay Area in the 1990s. She is passionate about ethnic studies, has interned for the Bulosan Center for Filipinx Studies, and plans to work uplifting the Asian American community. She loves all things cute (especially sanrio), dogs, tumblr, and a wide variety of music. Labor Summer host site: East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy

Ava Olson is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in American studies with a concentration on vice and violence. After working in food service for four years, in both union and non-union positions, they have learned what a difference labor organizing can make. On campus, they’ve been involved in the League of Filipino Students, an organization which aims to fight feudalism, imperialism, and bureaucratic capitalism in the Philippines, as well as the student movement in defense of People’s Park. Labor Summer host site: SEIU-United Service Workers West

Aylene Rivas is a graduate of CSU Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in sociology with an emphasis on social welfare and health, and will be pursuing a master’s in public administration at CSULA Los Angeles. They are a first-generation, low-income student born and raised in Southeast Los Angeles to a Salvadoran family. They also enjoy being in nature, trying new foods with friends, dancing to Latin American music, and learning new perspectives. Labor Summer host site: SEIU 2015.

Catherine Condit is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a major in society and environment and a minor in public policy. On campus, she volunteered for environmental justice organizations and helped build student engagement on the climate crisis. She also worked for a popular non-unionized grocery store, where she developed her interest in the labor movement, and talked to a union about building a campaign in the store. In the future, she hopes to combine her interests in labor justice and environmental justice. Labor Summer host site: UFCW Local 5.

Originally from Colombia, Danna Castro Galindo is a rising junior at UCLA double majoring in political science and international development studies. Recently, Danna served as the internship coordinator for UCLA’s MEChA Calmécac, taught a class on retaining Latine students, and researched the impact of national immigration policies on local city politics. She also interned at the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice where she supported detained undocumented immigrants. Labor Summer host site: East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy.

Doris Situ is a rising junior at UC Davis double-majoring in sociology and economics. She is a first-generation Asian American and is motivated by employment inequalities and issues especially within Asian communities. She previously volunteered as an ESL educator for Asian immigrants, helping them to prepare for the workforce. Doris also enjoys supporting local businesses and farms by going to a variety of farmer’s markets. Labor Summer host site: UNITE-HERE 2850

Elizabeth Gao is a student at the University of Washington double majoring in sociology and law, societies, and justice. Born and raised in San Francisco to an immigrant family from Wuhan, Elizabeth was a youth organizer for mental health justice in high school, which then sparked her passion in grassroots movement-based abolition and liberation. Since January 2022, Elizabeth has been engaged in labor justice as a UW Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies intern at SEIU775 and migrant justice through #NoTechForICE. Labor Summer host site: Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco

Jonathan Martin is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz with bachelor’s degrees in politics and literature. Raised in a union household in the East Bay, they are interested in studying the role that workers’ unions play in building community networks and engaging in political struggle. They are an organizer with the People’s Transit Alliance, and passionate about supporting the efforts of workers to build power in their communities. Labor Summer host site: UFCW Local 5.

Originally from New Jersey, Katie Levitt will attend UCLA to earn her Master of Public Policy with a concentration in labor policy. Previously, Katie worked at IFPTE Local 21, becoming the fourth generation of union activists in her family. Recently, she has been leading political education groups on labor 101 and public sector unionism. In her free time, she enjoys the beautiful Bay Area outdoors and playing with her cat, Cheddar. Labor Summer host site: UPTE-CWA Local 9119.

Mateo Torrico is a UC Berkeley graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science and minors in ethnic studies and public policy. He served as a student senator proudly representing the Latinx student community. Growing up in Sacramento, Mateo was involved in state and local politics at a young age and advocated in favor of labor protections throughout the Central Valley. He enjoys playing sports and currently coaches a competitive youth soccer team in Oakland. Labor Summer Host Site: UNITE HERE 2850.

Michelle Rivera Lopez is a senior at UC Berkeley double majoring in sociology and ethnic studies. Passionate about social justice, she is a first-generation college student and daughter of Mexican immigrants. Michelle has been involved with the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative and the Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law. Michelle became interested in labor after researching asphalt fume regulations among Bay Area roofers through the Latinx in the Environment Fellowship. Labor Summer host site: IFPTE Local 21

Dai-Khoa Nathaniel Tran is a senior at Pomona College majoring in politics and minoring in history. Proudly hailing from the Central Valley, Nathan has been involved in California politics since high school, working as a staffer for several progressive campaigns, as a researcher for the Rose Institute of State and Local Government, and now as a strategist for the San Joaquin County Democratic Party. Nathan also enjoys long walks, copying his friends’ playlists, and writing zines about Vietnamese American history. Labor Summer host site: UPTE

Oscar Fregozo is a first-generation college student, the son of Mexican immigrants, and grew up in the Central Valley. He is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in political science and is passionate about helping marginalized communities. On campus, he was a writing tutor at the Student Learning Center and engaged in efforts to support lecturers’ contract negotiations. He has organized with non-profits in the Central Valley and on educational and labor issues in the East Bay. Labor Summer host site: East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy.

Pablo Acosta is the son of working-class immigrants from the south bay of Los Angeles. After transferring to UC Berkeley, he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in public policy. At Cal, he helped support campus union campaigns and built coalitions with student labor organizations. He interned in the office of California Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi and at the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. Pablo also enjoys writing, playing video games, trying new foods, and spending time with friends. Labor Summer host site: SEIU-United Service Workers West

Paola Cardenas is a first-generation college graduate and received a bachelor’s in sociology and a minor in public service & community engagement from the University of San Francisco. Born, raised and settled in Ramaytush native land, she is passionate about worker solidarity and intersectional social issues. She has won the Chicanx-Latinx Studies Paper Prize for her final senior thesis which examined how undocumented Latinx women are politically involved in the Mission District. Paola loves to take walks with her friends and spend time by the water. Host site: Trabajadores Unidos Workers United

Originally from Fresno, Rachel Sowell is a first-generation college graduate and received a bachelor’s in criminal justice and a minor in Africana studies from San Francisco State University. Rachel interned at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office through the Willie L. Brown Fellowship at City Hall. Here she helped individuals who were incarcerated to help them understand their rights. Labor Summer host site: SEIU-United Service Workers West

Samantha Schmidt is a senior transfer student at UC Berkeley studying social welfare. Her upbringing in Hawthorne led her to start community-driven mutual aid projects to help marginalized community members. She is an administrative assistant for UC Berkeley’s Assistant Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Student Affairs, serving as a resource for students seeking mental health services. She was a former intern at Oasis Legal Services. Samantha enjoys photography and finding creative ways to express herself. Labor Summer host site: SEIU 2015

Sarah Orozco is a senior transfer student at UC Berkeley studying sociology and is a proud Oaxaqueña from South Central, Los Angeles. Sarah has served as a Peer Advocate Lead at the Transfer Student Center, Food Pantry Ambassador for the Basic Needs Center, and Peer Academic Counselor for the Educational Opportunity Program. Sarah’s future goal is to earn a master’s degree in college counseling to help students of color and indigenous students achieve higher education. Labor Summer host site: SEIU 2015.

Serena Campbell is a student at UCSC majoring in sociology and critical race and ethnic studies. On campus, she served as a mentor in the African American Mentorship Program, a member of the Campus Safety Community Advisory Board, a Building Belonging fellow under the Institute for Social Transformation, and the secretary of the Mixed Ethnic and Cultural Student Association. She was elected to serve on the Racial Equity and Social Justice Committee for the town of Fairfax. Labor Summer host site: East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy.

Sylis Alcocer Kemp is a recent graduate of Cal Poly Humboldt with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He is passionate about social justice and restorative justice practices and hopes to attend law school in the future. In his free time, he likes to hike among the redwoods, cook, and watch movies. Labor Summer host site: National Union of Healthcare Workers

 

Taylor Valci is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in History and minoring in Public Policy. Before returning to school to complete their undergraduate degree, Taylor spent time working as a Case Manager and Benefits Specialist at nonprofit organizations serving the unhoused population in both Alameda and Orange Counties. As a Bay Area native, they are so excited for the opportunity to become more intimately involved with union organizing in their community throughout the course of the Labor Summer program. Taylor finds peace and joy through camping, cooking, board games, and snuggling with their dog. Labor Summer host site: Teamsters Local 2010

 

Born in Southern California and raised in Mexico, Veronica Lopez is a first-generation college student and daughter of Mexican immigrants. Veronica is a second-year transfer student at UC Berkeley majoring in political science and minoring in public policy. She interned at Congressmember Barbara Lee’s district office in Oakland and volunteered for the Bernie Sanders Democratic Primary Campaign and the Yes On Prop 16 Campaign. Veronica enjoys cold brews and spending time with her cat Karolino. Labor Summer host site: North Bay Jobs with Justice.