June 7, 2016

Jerry Haas, BCA Executive Director
and Diane Brooks, BCA Intern Program Coordinator

Border Community Alliance
PO Box 1863, Tubac, AZ 85646
Email: Executive Director: Jerry Haas
Internship Coordinator: Diane Brooks.

Border Community Alliance Welcomes New Summer Interns

Border Community Alliance welcomes the new 2016 interns: Daniel McDermott, a student at University of Arizona studying Psychology and History, Natalie Leach, from Kent State University studying International Relations with minors in Spanish and Nonprofits, Natalie Sommerson, a recent graduate from University of Minnesota with a B.A in Spanish Studies & Global Studies focusing on human rights, and Sara Leilla Baranda, a senior at University of Florida working on a B.A. in International Studies concentrating on International Relations and Political Science.  The new interns arrive on June 15 and are immediately immersed into the program with a Cross Border Tour and Board welcoming reception on June 16.

The highly-regarded internship program, started by Peg Bowden and now run by her and Diane Brooks offers students an in-depth opportunity to learn the complexities and richness of the border region, its culture and politics. This experience is much more than textbook theory. Living in the borderlands, participants will have unprecedented opportunities to dialogue with people who live in both countries – politicians, writers, teachers, artists, migrants, social activities, environmentalists, attorneys.

A delightful outgrowth from last summer is the emergence of a unique project for border kids, the Border Youth Tennis Exchange (BYTE), developed by 2015 intern, Charlie Cutler. The impact of the internship program on Charlie inspired him to relocate to the border region in the fall of 2016 to implement and direct the BYTE project.

2015 interns
2015 BCA Interns: Christine Dicker, Alexandra Arriaga, and Charlie Cutler

Another 2015 intern, Alex Arriaga just graduated from the University of Wisconsin.  She had this to say about her experience as a BCA intern.

The BCA internship gave me insight into the reality of the border. As I continue to study the political and historical relations between the U.S. and Mexico, I had the privilege of witnessing firsthand how the border impacts lives.” Alex Arriaga, Student, University of Wisconsin.

BCA has built a strong relationship with Mexican leaders through its association with FESAC (Fundación Del Empresariado Sonorense), a non-governmental organization similar to a community foundation. For the last six years BCA and FESAC have cooperated in offering Cross Border Tours, daylong eye-opening excursions into Nogales, Sonora that have had a high impact on the six hundred plus people who have participated. “We change people’s perception of Mexico and deeply respect the incredible work being done there by amazing people like Alma Cota de Yanez, FESAC’s Nogales Director.”

You can read more about the Summer Intern Program, BYTE and Cross Border Tours on our website,


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