I am Dayana Perez, 22 and Colombian American activist, who resides in Queens, New York. Growing up, I traveled every other summer to Colombia to learn more about my family’s roots and culture. I have fluency in English and Spanish, but basic skills in French and Italian.
In 2013, I started my activism at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), participating in New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). NYPIRG is focused on rights of education reform, environmental justice, better transit, and consumer protection. In June 2016, I participated as a Samaritans Hotline Volunteer at The Samaritans of New York. The Samaritans of New York is a suicide prevention hotline that has an international network, which is known for its successes as a community- based organization. The Samaritans of New York provides volunteers with an intensive training program in order to provide professional services. In September 2016, I participated as Secretary of Student Association of International Studies (SAIS) in CCNY, I was mainly responsible to take minutes. In May 2017, I worked as a Law Administrative Assistant at the Law Office of Joseph G. Canepa. The law office provided me with the opportunity to work on issues, such as immigration and criminal justice, through interviewing clients, translating and filing documents. In addition, I provided assistance in the accounting department at the law office. I am still active in the campus life. For instance, since January 2017 I became a Staff Writer at The Campus Magazine from CCNY. As a Staff Writer, I have been able to network with the communities at CCNY and Harlem. Working with other professional writers at my campus has been a very fulfilling and liberating experience.
I am still an undergrad at City College of New York (CCNY) majoring in International Studies and Minoring in Psychology. I decided to mix both fields because I sincerely feel compelled to learn more about mental health rights. Due to the fact, that I consider myself a survivor of severe depression and anxiety. As well, I have been deeply inspired by others’ personal narratives and my own coping with depression. I also learned that there are many who suffer in silence about their disorders; I argue that coming out is the best relief.
It is an inspiring opportunity to participate in the internship of NGO CSW/ NY. Therefore, I am grateful for the exposure to work of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, who are still under severed, oppressed and deprived of human rights around the world. I am passionate about learning more about the intersectional and feminist perspectives of women’s rights due to my inspiration through courses such as Transnational Feminism, Gender, Conflict, and Dialogue, Women’s Theater, Theories of Social Foundation, Research to the UN and National Model UN.
Most of all, I cherish to become a social worker, educator, professional researcher and/ or journalist focused on women’s and children’s rights in the mental health industry.
By: Dayana Perez