Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - The Hands That Feed Us: Migrant Health in Underserved Agricultural Communities of the Central Valley

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
The Hands That Feed Us: Migrant Health in Underserved Agricultural Communities of the Central Valley
Trip Location: 
Central Valley, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
Number of Participants: 
Trip Description: 

"The hands that feed us are often invisible hands, hands of people who work in the shadows of a multibillion-dollar industry without enjoying its rewards."


            "The Human Cost of Food"

Walk into any market and you’re likely to see a colorful spectrum of produce lining the walls, marked with low prices by the pound. Yet behind the scenes, such delicious creations most likely stem from backbreaking work, that which has taken major tolls on the very contributors to California’s agricultural success: migrant workers. Coupled with debilitating working and living conditions, the deprivation of workers’ rights due to immigration status, prevalence of low wages, and lack of access to essential commodities and health care not only contribute significantly to poor health outcomes within this population but also, reflect a growing need to understand and engage such issues from various levels. Through our winter course, we will learn about a whole host of social and cultural factors driving health disparities within these communities through informative readings as well as through academic discussions with professors and each other. During our spring break trip, we will interact directly with not only the migrant farm workers, themselves, but also, with the various stakeholders involved in their well-being, including but not limited to: farm owners, health care providers, community activists, lobbyists, non-profit organizations, and policy-makers. Collectively, such experiences will help us develop an informed, multidisciplinary perspective on health within these underserved communities, enabling us to evaluate current efforts to alleviate existing issues and to contribute to the promotion of health for these hardworking migrant workers, whether immediate or in the near future.

Trip Leaders
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Brian Nguyen

Brian is currently a junior majoring in Biology, who comes from Southern California (SoCal woot woot). More specifically, he has grown up in the funny-sounding town of Rancho Cucamonga that probably no one has heard of. Having observed health disparities at the domestic and international levels, he has developed a keen interest in health care with a particular focus in marginalized communities. Moreover, while at Stanford, he tries to understand the various upstream factors that drive these stark differences in health outcomes by complementing his education with public service through Pacific Free Clinic, the Opportunity Center, Habla, Students Taking on Poverty, and Health Education for Lifetime Partnership (HELP). Last year, he had the awesome opportunity of participating in the immigration ASB trip, which has inspired him to co-lead one this year with Wendy that focuses on migrant health. In his free time, he enjoys being physically active, whether it’s through racing his co-leader at running, or swimming a few laps at Avery. He cannot wait to spend time with all of you through learning, serving, and bonding from this amazing ASB experience!

Wendy Sov

Hailing from the awesomeness that is SoCal like her fellow co-leader Brian, Wendy is a junior majoring in Public Policy. She grew up in Chino Hills, where cows once roamed the land but have now been replaced with shopping outlets and cookie-cutter houses. With a passion for helping others, she plans to devote her life to public service, whether that means working for a nonprofit or working in local/state government. On campus, she has been involved with Tutoring For Community and Circle K. She went on the ASB Migrant Health trip her freshman year, loved it so much that she joined the Children’s Health trip her sophomore year, and is now super stoked to be co-leading the trip that started it all. During her free time, Wendy likes to run, make fun of Brian’s running, browse at farmers’ markets, eat sushi, snowboard, read, watch movies, and paint. She cannot wait to meet all of you on the best ASB trip ever!