Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action

                             VIDA Internship                                                   


Student Community Field Placement

Leadership and Social Change

De Anza College 2017-2018




Get involved in the 2017-2018 VIDA Internship Program! Recruitment is now underway!

We are committed to providing opportunities for students to build their skills and knowledge outside of the classroom, to apply the knowledge they've gained from such courses as in the Leadership & Social Change Certificate program.

Like volunteers, paid interns commit and take on leadership roles, but are accountable for major responsibilities in the projects/campaigns they are placed on. The ultimate goal? Build student power and be agents of change in this world.

Apply Here!

All Openings for 2017-2018 academic year

Student Staff- Program Description



Project Intern- Program Description

The VIDA Internship program is designed to offer training, mentorship, and a stipend for De Anza students who have taken extraordinary leadership in projects that promote community college access and success.

The Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action is offering paid internships in the following categories.These come with a $3000 stipend for the year and involve 10 hours of work per week.


  • TRANSITION: Transit advocacy

  • HEFAS (Higher Education for AB540 undocumented students): Supporting and advocating for undocumented students

  • M.Y.E (Mentors for Youth Empowerment): Mentoring high school students in social change projects

  • Y.V.U.C: Organizing the Youth Voices United for Change conference (fall only)
  • Working on Public Policy to advocate for Community College Access
  • The Black Leadership Collective: Advocating for the interests of African American students at De Anza

Also earn a Certificate in Leadership and Social Change

Several of last year's interns also completed the 18-unit Certificate of Achievement in Leadership and Social Change. Learn about the certificate program.

Past student intern projects have included:

  • Educating De Anza students around issues of higher education funding
  • Mobilizing De Anza students for statewide actions around funding for higher education
  • Networking with students statewide to advocate for funding for higher education
  • Advocating for the needs of undocumented students in a number of ways, including setting up a resource center at De Anza, working with others statewide and nationally to advocate for better access to financial aid, and going to high schools to let undocumented students know that college is an option
  • Lobbying against the student success task force’s recommendations
  • Organizing to get free bus passes for all De Anza students
  • Getting a parcel tax for Foothill De Anza Community College district
  • Working with LGBTQ high school students to let them know that De Anza has a welcoming atmosphere
  • Presenting community college as a viable and sometimes advantageous educational pathway and challenging some of community colleges' negative impressions


VIDA seeks to empower students to be agents of change. We support student led efforts by facilitating resources for students to build their knowledge and skills with opportunities like conference travel, internships, academic courses in the Leadership & Social Change Certificate, staff advising.

Field Placement- Program Description

Students will secure a year-long field placement with an approved off-campus social justice organization in order to broaden students understanding of community-based organizations and enhance their personal career-readiness in the field of social change.   

The field placement is appropriate for students who have previously earned their certificate in Leadership and Social Change, or in some cases may be used to satisfy LSC certificate requirements.

Download Application Here:

Hours and timeline

Students will completed 210 hours of field placement work over the course of the academic year and may register for up to 6 total units of academic credit. In some cases, student field placement work may be eligible for a VIDA stipend. Students are encouraged to research and make contact with potential placement sites early.


Students must first apply for field placement with VIDA prior to the beginning of fall quarter. Field Placement agreements must be submitted to the VIDA Director by the 3rd week of fall quarter.


Student Field Placement Expectations

  • Students will make initial contact with a community based organization and discuss a social change field placement
  • Students will work with organization to complete the Field Placement Agreement Form and bring it to the VIDA Director for approval
  • Students will work with site supervisor to create schedule, work plans and weekly mentorship meetings.
  • Students will complete reflective activities as assigned by VIDA mentor the end of each quarter, or meet with weekly on-campus mentor group.    
  • Students will complete a Student Field Placement evaluation, obtain an Evaluation from their Community Organization and submit both forms to VIDA before the end of each quarter


Community Organization Expectations

  • Assist student in completing Field Placement Agreement form
  • Identifying meaningful student placement work responsibilities that contribute to individual skill building and further the organization’s social change objectives
  • Provide a tour of the work site and provide relevant training opportunities
  • Schedule meeting time to discuss work progress and offer mentorship, at least 3 individual meetings per quarter
  • Complete quarterly Community Organization Evaluation of student work and discuss with student. Students will submit this form to VIDA on behalf of their organization


Community Based Organizations


The following organizations are pre-approved as field placement sites for students. Students are encouraged to seek out any other organizations that may be appropriate placement and should contact VIDA for any guidance.


Californians for Justice


            Contact: Igdalia Rojas




Sacred Heart Community Services


            Contact: Leila McCabe, Community Engagement Coordinator




SIREN (Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network)

Contact: Jeremy Barousse, Community Organizer

(408) 453-3003 ext. 112


 San Jose Center for Peace and Justice


            Contact: Lauren Benetua


            (408) 297-2299

Working Partnerships


            Contact: Esha Mennon, Research Associate



 LGBTQ Youth Space


            Contact: Adrienne Keel, Outreach Coordinator


            (408) 343-7942


Past VIDA Projects


TRANSition is a student group that advocates for better transportation options to De Anza College, including Bus Rapid Transit; a faster, frequent, and reliable form of public transportation.  Our goal is to provide viable alternatives to the automobile so more students can get an education without wasting time on slow bus service or stuck in traffic.



Deferred Action for Leadership Empowerment at De Anza is for students interested in advocating for comprehensive immigration reform while assisting our undocumented community with Deferred Action document preparation (DACA, DACA+, DAPA)


laughing interns

HEFAS is an institutional and educational program that will provide resources, reduce financial stress, and create a safe learning environment for all students with an emphasis/including on undocumented AB540.  We are dedicated to empower students, build leadership skills, promote social justice, and advocate for higher education.

hefas banner



Located in the California History Center, students organize events to explore rights and violation of rights through a historical lens and juxtapose that with current events and issues we all might face today.


Join a movement in San Jose to fight back against skyrocketing rents. Housing is a human right! Participants will attend meetings and join some of the most influential non-profits in San Jose in spreading awareness and getting voters to approve a measure to decrease or stabilize rents in San Jose and make the area more affordable to live in.

Public Policy

Students grapple with the high price of education and focus on policy changes that can increase access to education for all. is dedicated to making California’s tax code fair to all by phasing out loopholes in Prop. 13 that have allowed a handful of giant corporations and wealthy commercial property owners to dramatically lower their tax obligations, while everyone else’s taxes have risen and state and local governments are constantly strapped for revenues.

Although not student-led, students build specific skills to shape public policy by joining a cohort of students each year under the guidance of political science faculty! Students engage in lobbying at the Capital! Find out more here!


Field Placement

The field placement program places students in local community organizations to practice the skills they learned in the coursework for the Leadership and Social Change Certificate program.

Students mix art and social justice at this field placement! MACLA is an inclusive contemporary arts space grounded in the Chicano/Latino experience that incubates new visual, literary and performance art in order to engage people in civic dialogue and community transformation.


Building: East Cottage

Director: Cynthia Kaufman
Phone: 408.864.8739

Program Coordinator: Angelica Esquivel
Phone: 408.864.8993

Student Staff:


Last Updated: 4/4/17