Careers at AFSCME

Union Scholars

A summer internship program for students passionate about social justice and workers’ rights.

In partnership with the Harvard University Center for Labor and a Just Economy and the Jerry Wurf Fund, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union introduces the Union Scholars Program: a summer scholarship and internship opportunity that prioritizes the experiences of students of historically marginalized communities.

The scholarship includes a paid summer internship, paid housing for 8 weeks and mentorships for college sophomores and juniors. Students will take part in a hands-on organizing experience with AFSCME members and enjoy an opportunity to travel and receive valuable, resume-building experience – all while getting paid. 

 Click here to access the 2024 application.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the internship, applicants must:

  • Be an undergraduate sophomore or junior at the time of the application and the interview process
  • Have a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average
  • Be a college student of a historically marginalized community
  • Demonstrate interest in working for social and economic justice through the labor union movement
  • Have a valid driver's license
  • Provide a faculty recommendation 


Selected Participants Will Receive

  • A 4-day orientation to prepare for their internship
  • A 6-week field placement on a union organizing campaign in one of several locations across the United States in the summer of 2024
  • A 3-day Debrief to reflect on the experience in Washington, D.C.
  • A living stipend; $4800
  • A scholarship based on financial need at the university, once program requirements have been met, $6000
  • Housing (already paid for)
  • Rental cars (already paid for)
  • All expenses for this internship PAID (including flights, trains, etc.)

2024 Program Dates

  • June 3-7: Orientation, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • June 10-July 19: Field Campaign, Various Locations
  • July 22-24: Debrief, AFSCME Headquarters, Washington D.C.

Selection Process

Applications are due February 28, 2024. All applications are read thoroughly and reviewed for the students' interests, inspirations, values, and goals. Knowledge about unions and experience in the labor movement are not required for a student to be accepted into the Program. However, students with a desire to be a union organizer or have a career in labor are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Applicants considered for interviews will be contacted in March for a virtual conversation with the AFSCME Education and Leadership Training Department.  

10 successful applicants will be chosen for the Program. All applicants will be notified by phone or email.


To complete the internship, scholars must:

  • Conduct one-on-one organizing, recruit supporters and leaders and guide their activities on behalf of the union, under the direction of their supervisor and mentor
  • Recruit volunteer organizers from within the AFSCME membership
  • Visit job sites to communicate with workers
  • Inform supervisor & mentor of developments and progress of organizing activity
  • Complete weekly reports (to be submitted to program coordinator)
  • Submit videography footage (to be submitted to program coordinator)
  • Report to and take direction from supervisor
  • Collaborate with mentor on projects


AFSCME is an equal opportunity employer, and, as such, does not discriminate an employee or applicant on the basis of race, creed, color, age, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, disability, or any other classification protected from discrimination under applicable law.