Class of 2025

Hometown: Clinton, North Carolina

Major: Public Policy
Certificate: Human Rights

Mellon Project: Bidirectional Migrant Education: Learning from and Amplifying the Experiences of Farmworkers in North Carolina

As humans, we view food as a need, an object we acquire at the store to cook and feed our families, but behind the simplistic ideology of food, hundreds of thousands of farmworkers' stories show the struggles to feed millions of families, struggling to feed their own. Thousands of U.S. farmworkers start their stories in their homeland, where they migrate thousands of miles toward the U.S., searching for economic stability. However, once farmworkers arrive in the U.S., their interactions with Americans differ as they establish themselves. I will conduct a series of oral interviews and ethnographic observations to create an analysis of farmworker lives, labor, and especially their interaction outside of the immigrant community. I will primarily focus on farmworkers in Sampson County, North Carolina, from which I originate. The interviews will focus on documenting the experiences of farmworkers with different migration circumstances (H-2A/H-2B visa farmworkers, immigrant farmworkers) to answer the question, "What are the social interactions and experiences of farmworkers within North Carolina?" This research will not only serve as an educational tool for community members unaware of the struggles of farmworkers, but it will also serve as an archive to store and share the migration stories of farmworkers.