Taina Perez

Yale University, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

MA in Environmental Management

Taina Perez was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She attended New Visions Charter H.S. for Advance Math & Science where she was awarded the POSSE Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship, to attend Franklin & Marshall College (F&M). Taina majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Latin American Studies, a minor she petitioned to create to push for a more diverse academic setting for students. She was active on campus. As the Co-President of Mi Gente Latina and Define American, she was able to create an annual Immigration Appreciation Week and support the creation of a resource webpage for DACA and undocumented students. For her involvement in the school community and her strong academic standing Taina was awarded the Sidney Wise Public Affairs Internship, the Alice Distler Award, the Karel Fellowship, and the Marshall Fellowship.

The Marshall Fellowship provided Taina funding to pursue research of her own in San Jose del Guaviare, Colombia. In Colombia Taina worked with Arca De Amor to create water delivery systems for two endangered indigenous tribes, the Jiw and Nukak, and investigated the impact of nonprofits and how they contribute or harm indigenous vitality.  She went on to study the politics of food, water, and energy abroad in Vietnam, Morocco, and Bolivia.

Through the Payne International Development Fellowship, she hopes to learn about successful environmental projects, including WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) programs across the globe, and ultimately serve as an Environmental Officer. Taina will pursue a Master of Environmental Management to work on inclusive developmental projects that involve the community on all levels.