Meet a Libertana Scholar: Cristina (Tina) Arechiga

Our 2020 Libertana scholars are an impressive and inspiring group of students. Meet Tina, a sophomore at Mount Holyoke College studying Politics and Environmental Studies, who exemplifies the Libertana standard of excellence.

What motivated you to pursue your major?

Growing up with indigenous grandparents has pushed me to value nature and protect the Earth. Our resources are currently depleting because of our inability to rationally use them. By pursuing Politics along with Environmental Studies, I am able to advocate against the corrupt exploitative institutions that are killing our Earth. By using the law to protect the Earth, we can ensure that there is regulation to stop the industries causing all of this damage. Focusing on conservation would allow me to protect biodiversity from the worsening conditions; politics would allow me to use the law to protect it. By knowing the law and using it to your advantage you are able to make change. For this reason, I chose to double major in Politics and Environmental Studies because it is the perfect balance for representing disenfranchised communities affected by environmental racism, redlining and gentrification.

Can you tell us about a college course you’ve enjoyed?

A course that I have enjoyed is Food Justice and the Challenges of Feeding 10 billion People. The course focuses on how we as a population fail to focus or think about the current problems that create inequitable food access. In this class, I learned about food insecurity, food sovereignty and how we can possibly connect and understand connections between race, food and health. This class made me realize that it is crucial for us to create a sustainable and equitable food system that reaches all people and not just those that can afford the healthy food that is available to them. This was an incredible class because it showed me the exploitation and food insecurity impacting primarily Black and indigenous communities. This class reassured me that I want to pursue a career that focuses on the agricultural system.

What specific goals do you have for post-grad, and what motivates you to pursue those goals?

After graduating, I see myself taking a year off to prepare for law school. I hope to have an internship, hopefully working as an intern in a legal office. Taking a year off would allow me to properly prepare for law school while also giving me the experience that will make me successful in a law school environment. I also want to take the time after graduation to live in another state and possibly take time to travel abroad. After graduation, I would like to be in Boston or New York interning or doing paralegal work.

Cristina (Tina) Arechiga