What Makes Community Groundwork Different?
Co-founder and Executive Director Michael Ceraso's long political career started at a community college. After completing his A.A. degree from Citrus Community College, he went to work on Barack Obama's first presidential campaign in New Mexico. He discovered his skill-sets and professional networks were behind his campaign peers who completed political internships and training programs at four-year schools unavailable to two-year students.
Recognizing that community college students might lack the practical know-how or confidence to participate in a sector that feels resigned to university and Ivy League students, Michael's goal is to demystify the process and instill confidence in two-year students whose careers in government advocacy political campaigns are within reach.
To fulfill that mission, Community Groundwork programs provide stipends to supplement lost wages from missed shifts and cover expenses like transportation and food to remove as many practical impediments as possible for those students with the passion, curiosity, and work ethic to participate.
Community Groundwork training and mentorship programs offer access to accomplished political professionals who volunteer their time to teach courses on everything from networking and resume-writing to digital storytelling and data analytics. After these quarterly programs, students leverage job shadowing and placement opportunities with elected officials, local races, and city agencies near each partner college.