Internships at CDF-Texas


For years, we at CDF-Texas have been honored to welcome dozens of talented college and graduate-level students to our internship program. Along with CDF-Texas staff, our interns ensure Texas children have the resources, support, and institutions to become our state’s next generation of advocates and leaders.

We are proud to house an intentional and structured internship program where students get firsthand experience with:

  • professional advocacy
  • affecting policy change
  • working with young people
  • and more

In addition to this experience, our program connects interns to one of the most powerful networks in the nonprofit world. 

Interns are vital to CDF-Texas work, and we are pleased to play a role in supporting the next generation of advocates.

Our Internships

Applications are currently closed. Our internship terms are spring (January–May), summer (June–August), and fall (September–December). We encourage you to check back on this page for internship openings before the start of each internship term.

2021–2022 Interns

Julieta Suárez Calderón is interning as the Immigration Policy and Advocacy Intern Spring and Summer 2022 and has this to say about their experience.

I love working here! CDF-TX is such a supportive and encouraging work environment. Check-ins, socials, and other team calls give me an insight into how all the work CDF staff does comes together to improve the lives of children and families in Texas. I appreciate the intentional effort to make it genuinely feel like a family! Esther is an incredible supervisor and mentor and makes me feel valued and trusted as an intern.

It’s been a privilege to get to know the amazing people working towards immigration justice and supporting immigrant families throughout Texas. As an intern, I write our immigration newsletter to keep folks up to date on immigration policies and personal stories. I am also helping with our new blog series on harmful state and federal immigration policies. I’m especially honored to be a part of the Thawing the Chilling Effect campaign—collecting educational materials and collaborating with community organizers and advocates, enrollment assistors, and lawyers to re-enroll immigrant families in public services.

I learn so much every day in this role and I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside an incredible and passionate team. I want to dedicate my time to immigrant communities and this position has been crucial by allowing me to explore various avenues to pursue immigration justice.

Janae Steggall interned at CDF-Texas as a Youth Civic Education and Engagement Intern throughout Spring 2022 and graduated in May from The University of Texas at Austin with her degree in Government.

I have absolutely loved my internship experience with CDF-Texas! Everyone here is an expert in their advocacy area and incredibly welcoming and driven. It is energizing to work with such supportive and passionate advocates for children across Texas! I cannot recommend this internship or this team enough. 

I was driven to this work through my experience in organizing, registering, and educating young Texas voters. I left high school with an understanding and appreciation of civic education only because of my extracurriculars. The health and future of our democracy depends on young Texans learning accurate and diverse depictions of our history and better equipping students across the state to be engaged citizens. My internship occurred concurrently with book bans, attacks against trans kids and their families, and attempts to censor our social studies curriculum. I am proud to have contributed to CDF-Texas’ work to condemn these attacks and fight for a better today and tomorrow for all children. I am more devoted than ever to ensuring that young people are empowered throughout their educational journey and that our voices and demands are reflected in the decisions of our representatives. 

My favorite projects from my internship include putting together and co-presenting the YOUthTX kickoff event and researching and designing a comprehensive nonpartisan guide on local and state school boards in Texas. My time at CDF working on projects I care about and with a team that encourages each other solidified my desire to spend my career in political nonprofit work. After graduating this May, I plan to move back to the DFW area and pursue a full-time career in advocacy with a political nonprofit organization that aligns with my passions of voting rights, civic education, and youth advocacy and empowerment! 

Kennedy Rodriguez interned at CDF-Texas as the Youth Programs Intern from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022. 

Working with CDF was an incredible experience that shaped me both personally and professionally. Being an intern means much more at CDF than making copies or sending emails. The work you do will be challenging, yet fulfilling, and will always keep you on your toes.

My favorite part about working with CDF is the family-like feeling and consistent interaction with everyone on staff. Many internships do not allow as much opportunity for relationships to be built past the interns’ small circle, and it was amazing to be able to get to know everyone on staff.

My time at CDF also reminded me why I chose nonprofit work, and why I chose to be a young person who advocates for change. Through helping mentor Beat the Odds Scholars of 2021, to relationship building with alumni and young advocates via our YOUthTX program, I was constantly exposed to other young Texans who inspired and empowered me, as well as being led by a team so dedicated and passionate about affording every child a truly fulfilling life. 

CDF is a place for people who put their heart and soul into making the world a better place. I am so grateful to have had this experience and truly feel connected to the work I was doing and the people I was doing it with. 

Brett Anthony Collett has been the Health Policy Intern since September 2021 and had this to say about his experience.

It can be an overused cliche for organizations to promote their culture and say that they’re like a family, but I’ve really felt the love in my time at CDF-TX! I’ve always been made to feel like a valued colleague, not just an intern, from the Executive Director down. There is a real sense of camaraderie among the whole CDF-TX team, the staff meetings are fun and informative, and everyone is so supportive. The health policy team gave me the time and space to sit in briefings and do the reading required to learn the intricacies of health care in Texas, and I was able to learn a lot from my colleagues and from our fantastic partner organizations.

I have been lucky enough to leverage my background in political strategy and communications to be involved in strategy meetings for the campaign to win a federal fix to the Medicaid coverage gap, working with the Southerners For Medicaid Expansion coalition as part of a multi-state effort to ensure no American is left without access to health care. I have learned about how to apply for grants and provide grant reports, and I was able to pursue policy analysis on a topic that grabbed my attention: the impact of caregiver loss due to COVID-19 on children. Interning for an organization with such purpose has reassured me that my goal to work in policy development in the public or advocacy sector is the right one, and I’m proud to have interned at CDF-TX.