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2018 AFSCME Union Scholars Program

AFSCME and Harvard Labor and Worklife Program Logos

The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is pleased to partner with Harvard University's Labor and Worklife Program to sponsor the Union Scholars Program. AFSCME is one of the nation’s largest labor unions, representing more than 1.6 million public service employees. Harvard’s Labor and Worklife Program, located in the Harvard Law School, is the university’s center for research, teaching and creative problem-solving related to the world of work.

The Union Scholars Program is a 10-week summer internship for students of color who are passionate about social justice, with an emphasis on workers' rights. Entry to the Union Scholars Program is competitive.

Students will take part in a hands-on organizing experience with AFSCME members, and will enjoy an opportunity to travel and receive valuable, resume-building experience – all while getting paid.

Please watch what former Union Scholars had to say about their experience in the Union Scholars Program:

Scholarship Criteria:

To qualify for the scholarship, you 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 color including: African-American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian-Pacific Islander, Latin American
  • Demonstrate interest in working for social and economic justice through the labor union movement
  • Have a valid driver's license
  • Provide a faculty recommendation

Chosen Candidates Will Receive:

Selected AFSCME Union Scholars will receive a three-day orientation to prepare for their internship. They will also receive a 10-week field placement in the summer of 2018, when the student will participate in a union organizing campaign in one of several locations across the United States. Students who enter the program as sophomores are eligible to return for a second year. Returning students may receive a 10-week summer placement at AFSCME headquarters in Washington, D.C. All chosen candidates will receive the following:

  • A stipend of $4000 (provided by Harvard)
  • On-site housing (provided by AFSCME/Harvard)
  • A three-day orientation and training program prior to the field assignment (provided by AFSCME)
  • A three-day debriefing program after the internship is completed (provided by AFSCME)
  • Upon successful completion of the program, an academic scholarship of up to $6,000 based on financial need (as determined by AFSCME)

Application Process:

This is a four-part process that includes the completion of a personal profile, an academic profile, a questionnaire and a recommendation form.

Access the application here.

Detailed instructions on how to complete the process:

  1. Before you access the application, please make sure you have a copy of your resume, unofficial transcript and driver's license prior to starting the application.
  2. Once you access the application, you must complete it fully, or you will be required to start the process over again.
  3. The application consists of answering two essays questions, in addition to, uploading and attaching a copy of your resume, current unofficial transcript and driver's license.
  4. Once you complete the application form, you must fill out the recommendation form, to include the name of the recommending professor as well as the professor's email address and phone number.
  5. Once you have submitted the recommendation form, your professor will receive a link, through which they will upload your recommendation letter.
  6. Once your recommendation letter has been submitted by your professor, we will send you another email informing you that your full application in its entirety has been completed.

2016 class of Union Scholars

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