Engaging People in Change

Millbrook, New York

Engaging People in Change (EPIC) is a youth empowerment program for high school students in rural Northeast Dutchess County, New York. We gather a diverse and bilingual (English/Spanish) group of teens from four school districts every Friday night to develop skills, study social problems, and learn to become activists in their communities. We meet at Grace Church in Millbrook and offer transportation for students living in the Pine Plains, Millerton, Amenia, Dover Plains, and Millbrook areas.


Internship Description

EPIC: Educational Enrichment and Activism: The summertime provides EPIC with more flexibility to pursue different projects as they come up- so we don’t know yet what we’ll be doing! Whatever it is, the intern will be coordinating, driving, texting, cooking, facilitating, chatting, drawing, and writing alongside us, helping us pull together a community event, a discussion-filled sleepover, a training, or a trip. Additionally, the intern will work with students one-to-one and in small groups on whatever their educational goals are, whether that’s college applications, ESL tutoring, or an Audre Lourde book group.

Rural Dutchess Coalition for Solidarity with Immigrants, Refugees, and LatinxsThe Rural Dutchess Coalition (RDC) formed after the election with the mission of standing in solidarity with Latinx, immigrant, and/or refugee people living in the rural areas of our county. The coalition is made up of 12+ groups and organizations that are committed to advocacy, sanctuary, and amplification of voices. In support of the RDC, the intern will assist with administrative tasks (coordinating meetings, preparing policy briefings and resource lists, creating online presence and materials) and focus on the projects that we will be working on this summer (likely Know Your Rights trainings and other community organizing projects to be determined as the needs arise in 2017).


  • Specific Skills Needed: Interns must possess a working cell phone. Interns with Spanish language skills are strongly preferred, as are those who share identities and experiences with our students (immigrants, people of color, first-generation college students, rural). All interns must be self-directed, independent, be willing to take initiative, and be excited about a summer learning around rural America. We live in one-stoplight towns with spotty cell reception- it’s a beautiful place to be in the summertime, but you have to want that experience.
  • Number of Intern Placements: 2
  • Internship Time Frame: EPIC is very flexible and can work around the needs of each intern.
Know BEFORE You Apply

Interns must be willing and able to provide their own housing if EPIC is unable to provide free or low-cost housing nearby.

Interns must have a valid driver’s license, and will need their own car.

Interns are eligible for a stipend of no more than $1,500 from UUCSJ to assist with food, local public transit, and incidentals, depending on a variety of factors. Applicants are encouraged to seek other sources of funding, including grants from colleges and foundations, congregational support, and Faithify, or other crowd sourcing fundraisers.

EPIC is able to provide stipends to undocumented interns through their organizations. 

Thank you for considering spending your time with us! We’re definitely a unique opportunity, since we are a new and constantly evolving program within a rural church. If you’d like to talk through what the experience with EPIC would be like, please call Abby at 845-420-4280 to discuss.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Heather Vickery is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with UU congregations, State Action Networks, past UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) program participants, and regional staff in order to expand engagement in UUSC and UUCSJ’s work. As the Coordinator for Congregational Activism, she manages the workshop offerings and group visits to the UUSC/UUCSJ office and assists with communications for the Activism and Justice Education Team. Heather is an active member of the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network and a dedicated dog-mom to her rescue puppy Nova.

Heather may be contacted at hvickery@uucsj.org and 617-301-4303