CCHD intern grateful for opportunity to empower others


By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger


University of Iowa student Julissa Govea is grateful for the opportunity to serve vulnerable populations in the Iowa City area as a Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) intern. She assists the Center for Worker Justice-Iowa City with wage theft cases, outreach and community organizing. “We let people know we aren’t just here to help but to empower and educate, too,” Govea said during a diocesan Social Action Lunch and Learn presentation last month via Zoom.

CCHD is the national anti-poverty and social justice program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The diocesan Office of Social Action offers CCHD internships “to afford Catholics the opportunity to more fully live out their faith walking with the Two Feet of Social Justice,” said Deacon Kent Ferris, diocesan director of Social Action. Interns see what it looks like to help people living and working in poverty “to find their voices and create change for themselves, their families and their communities.”

The Social Action office is accepting applications until April 15 for the 2024-25 academic year. The intern will work with Quad Cities Interfaith-Davenport, Center for Worker Justice-Iowa City or Escucha Mi Voz (Listen to my voice). Tasks will vary but may include parish education, training and outreach, writing letters and articles, doing research and developing relationships with community organizations and the Hispanic community.


The internship is 16-20 flexible hours per week for 24 weeks. Salary is $17 an hour. The intern must be able to attend CCHD training in Washington, D.C., May 29-31 (all expenses paid). Fluency in Spanish is preferred but not required.

Govea said she expected to work behind the scenes at the Center for Worker Justice but has been front and center for many of the center’s campaigns. “I’ve done training, gone to events, met great community leaders, heard talks and encountered great individuals who have taught me (a lot). It’s a lot of hands-on work and action taking … I never thought it would feel this amazing to be part of a great team.”

The internship has made an impact on her career goals. She originally planned to become an immigration lawyer but has expanded her interest to learning about labor laws and individual rights, as well. She observes that when people receive support from the Center for Worker Justice they often feel empowered and motivated to advocate for others. “They’re glad to know people are behind them.”

For more information or to apply for the internship go to

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