Migrant workers and their families often live in geographic, linguistic and cultural isolation, which can create barriers to education, wellness and other public services. UVM Extension provides assistance with a focus on improving access to healthcare and education, food access and security, and overall social wellbeing.

Vermont Migrant Education Program

student with educator

VMEP provides free educational support services to eligible children and youth who relocate independently or with their families in order to obtain seasonal or temporary employment in agriculture.

In English

En Español

Bridges to Health

tomatoes in hand

Bridges to Health is a health outreach program for migrant farmworkers in Vermont. Utilizing a care coordination model carried out by regional Migrant Health Promoters, the program empowers farmworkers to make timely health decisions. In addition to offering care coordination to migrant farmworkers in need of health care services, Bridges to Health creates capacity-building opportunities for local health entities to implement linguistically and culturally appropriate services.

Contact: Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland, Migrant Health Coordinator
nwolcott@uvm.edu | (802) 524-6501 ext. 447

Farming Across Cultures

Farm worker at milking machine

For producers, managers, and Latino employees in the areas of work, health and the home. More Info >>

The Huertas Project

peas in hand

Huertas is a community-based food security project that enables Latino/a migrant farmworkers and families living on Vermont’s dairies to access culturally familiar and local foods through cultivating kitchen gardens. More Info >>

Spanish Online Dairy Worker Training

Cows lined up eating hay

This self-paced Spanish dairy worker training certificate program is designed to develop the workforce skills needed on a modern dairy farm. This program was created as a partnership through Cornell Pro-Dairy and UVM Extension's Farmworker Programming. Each module focuses on common dairy worker areas of responsibility. All materials are presented and written in Spanish. There is no charge for this certification.

For more information, email dairy@uvm.edu or visit the website: https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs/spanish-online-dairy-worker-training

Staff Profiles

Mimi Arnstein, VMEP Virtual English Instructor

Mimi Arnstein is the virtual English instructor for the Migrant Education Program. Before coming to VMEP, she farmed commercial organic vegetables for 15 years in Vermont and still provides business consulting to farmers. Since receiving her ESL teaching certificate, she has provided language instruction to recent immigrants and refugees. She is excited to combine her background in farming and more recent ESL teaching pursuits in her new position with VMEP.

Email: Mimi.Arnstein@uvm.edu
Cell phone: 802-505-9011

Claire Bove, Migrant and Farmworker Health Immunization Program Coordinator

Claire coordinates immunization outreach and education for immigrant farmworkers and their families as part of the Bridges to Health team. She also supports farmworker access to COVID testing. Prior to this role, Claire coordinated the High School Equivalency Program, assisting farmworkers in getting their GED. She holds a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership, and has worked and traveled all over the U.S. and the world.

Email: Claire.Bove@uvm.edu
Office phone: 802-388-4969 x338
Cell phone: 802-249-4611

Sarah Braun Hamilton, Migrant Education Program Out of School Youth Coordinator

Braun Hamilton develops and coordinates educational opportunities for out-of-school youth farmworkers. Braun Hamilton has a master’s degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages and has worked broadly in adult education with a focus on student-centered, goal-oriented, practical learning. Please contact them for with questions about English language instruction, academic and life skills instruction in Spanish, and career development for farmworkers.

Email: Sarah.Braunhamilton@uvm.edu
Office phone: 802-476-2003 x211
Cell phone: 802-503-2009

Larkin Brown, In School Youth Tutor

Brown is a tutor for the Migrant Education Program. She is also an English as a Second Language teacher at Barre City Elementary and Middle School. Brown has a master’s degree in teaching ESL from Simmons College. She completed her undergraduate studies at Bowdoin College.
Email: Larkin.Brown@uvm.edu

Kelly Dolan, Migrant Education Program Coordinator 

As VMEP’s Program Coordinator, Dolan is in charge of program development, overseeing daily operations, and staff supervision. Dolan has a master’s degree from UVM in Community Development and Applied Economics and is currently pursuing a second master's in educational leadership. She worked as the UVM's Peace Corps recruiter and served as a volunteer in Guatemala and Panama. Please reach out to Dolan with any questions regarding programmatic or research-based opportunities.

Email: Kelly.Dolan@uvm.edu
Office phone: 802-651-8343 x504
Cell phone: 802-503-2312

Isabel Dunkley, Northwest Regional Coordinator

As the Northwest Regional Coordinator, Dunkley works in the field with families of school students as well as out of school students, providing supplemental educational support and social service access when necessary. She also works for the Bridges to Health Program, helping to connect migrant workers and their families to health care services. Dunkley graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor's degree in global studies.
Email: isabel.dunkley@uvm.edu
Office phone: 802-476-2272 x508
Cell phone: 802-503-2003

Martin Etter, In School Youth Tutor

Martin Etter

Martin Etter is a virtual tutor for the Migrant Education Program. He is also a high school history teacher and has an ESL certification. He has several years of experience teaching ESL in the U.S. and abroad. He has a master’s in education from Lyndon State College.

Email: martin.etter@uvm.edu

Rebecca Heine, Central West Regional Coordinator

As the Central West Regional Coordinator, Heine works in the field with families of school students as well out of school students, providing supplemental educational support and social service access when necessary. She also works for the Bridges to Health Program, helping to connect migrant workers and their families to health care services. Heine graduated from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Email: Rebecca.Heine@uvm.edu
Office phone: 802-476-2003 x507
Cell phone: 802-503-2375

Erin Hurley, In School Youth Tutor

Hurley is a tutor for the Migrant Education Program. She also works as a Spanish teacher at the Browns River Middle School. Hurley obtained her teaching license through the Teacher Apprenticeship Program at Champlain College. She has a master’s in public health from University of Washington and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Vermont.
Email: Erin.k.hurley@uvm.edu

Sarah Kleinman, Director of 4-H, Family and Farmworker Education Programs

Sarah Kleinman, Director of 4-H, Family and Farmworker Education Programs with UVM Extension, serves as the Project Director for the Migrant Education Program. Working in a variety of non-profit settings for the past twenty + years, her experience includes grant writing and resource development, budget, volunteer and personnel management, curriculum development, evaluation, strategic directions and program development, as well as building community collaborations. Kleinman has a master’s degree in public administration and is currently pursuing a course sequence in trauma-informed practices.

Email: Sarah.Kleinman@uvm.edu
Office phone: 802-651-8343 x521

Monica Pineda, VMEP/BTH Northeast Kingdom Coordinator

As the Northeast Kingdom Regional Coordinator, Pineda works in the field with families of school students as well out of school students, providing supplemental educational support and social service access when necessary. She also works for the Bridges to Health Program, helping to connect migrant workers and their families to health care services. Pineda graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University Benemerita in Puebla, Mexico.

Email: Monica.Pineda@uvm.edu
Office phone: 802-751-8307 x355
Cell phone: 802-503-2202

Sara Stowell, Program Identification and Recruitment Coordinator

Stowell grew up in Proctorsville, Vermont. She coordinates the identification, recruitment and enrollment of migratory students and families into VMEP. She and her team annually visit hundreds of farm and forestry employers and schools to enroll eligible children and engage them with available educational and enrichment services. Prior to returning to Vermont, Stowell worked in human rights and rural development in El Salvador. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies from Bates College.

Email: Sara.Stowell@uvm.edu
Office phone: 802-585-8386
Cell phone: 802-503-2114

Danielle Sussmann Turo, Migrant Education Program In School Youth Coordinator

As VMEP’s Statewide Educational Services Coordinator, Sussmann Turo is in charge of the coordination and implementation of supplemental education and support services of migrant students and their families. She has a bachelor’s degree from SUNY in cultural studies with concentration in communication, and an associate’s degree in liberal studies from CCV. Her background is in human resources and administration. Please reach out to her with any questions regarding in-school youth or with educational opportunities.

Email: Danielle.Turo@uvm.edu
Office phone: 802-751-8307 x363
Cell phone: 802-503-2022

Katherine “Julissa” Vesely, Bridges to Health Care Coordinator

Vesely coordinates health care services for immigrant farmworkers and their families as part of the Bridges to Health team. She also takes on special projects related to access to services. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

Email: Katherine.Vesely@uvm.edu
Office phone: 802-524-6501 x438
Cell phone: 802-503-2301

Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland, Bridges to Health Program Coordinator

Naomi, Coordinator of UVM Extension’s Bridges to Health project, designed, implemented and manages the statewide health outreach program for immigrant farmworkers. She also co-directs Huertas, a community-based food security project working to increase access to culturally familiar foods with farmworker households. She holds an Master's Degree in Community Development and Applied Economics from UVM. Naomi speaks Spanish fluently after living for four years in Central America including two years with the Peace Corps in El Salvador.
Email: nwolcott@uvm.edu
Office phone: 802-524-6501 x447
Cell phone: 802-503-2078

Interested in Volunteering with Vermont Farmworkers?

Download the Volunteer Application