Meet the interns: Hey, Teresa!

WEA loves working with interns, and Teresa is one of them! Teresa, a smart, driven, and passionate woman ready to tackle some of the issues WEA cares about the most worked as our Programs + Operations intern. Thanks to Teresa’s support WEA has done even more work to empower women entrepreneurs and treat the environment with the love it needs. We are lucky to work with so many talented interns like Teresa.

Read more about her interests and amazing work below!

Name: Teresa Yu

If you had a superpower, what would it be and why? 
My practical superpower would be to know all the languages of the world and be a master of communication! This wouldn’t be limited to spoken languages either – I’d love to know all forms of language. My functional/silly superpower would be telekinesis because I would just be able to move things with my mind!

Why did you want to intern with WEA?
Amidst the most well-traveled year of my life so far, as intellectually fulfilling and exciting as it was, I yearned for an opportunity to bridge what I’d learned from my travels to my life in Berkeley, whilst still in school. I wanted to work in a place that would ground me once I came back to Berkeley. I believe that the solutions concerning environmental sustainability and poverty are already imbedded within the communities themselves, particularly within the women who lead the communities. WEA’s interdisciplinary understanding of the feminization of poverty and approach to engaging women entrepreneurs who are already working at the grassroots level embodied my desire to uplift women, while simultaneously work towards an environmentally just future.

Tell us about a woman who inspires you.
Besides my mom and all other moms in the world, a woman who inspires me is Michelle Obama. She remained true to her self after graduating from Princeton and Harvard and returned to her native Chicago, held several public sector positions that focused on the betterment of her community, and held the First Lady position with such grace and sophistication.

Why women and why the environment? 
As Katsi Cook once said, “Women are the first environment”. I remember as a child first learning that every living person once came from a woman, and I was absolutely blown away at the sheer strength and power that women held. A feminist to my core, learning the many ways in which women are disproportionately affected by poverty and climate change because of unequal access to opportunities and choices shaped my commitment to working at the intersection of the environment and marginalized communities. Women are inextricably linked to the environment, and it is impossible to separate the two when working towards environmental and social justice.

What does your life outside WEA look like? 
I’m currently in my last year of undergrad at UC Berkeley, studying Environmental Economics and Policy with minors in Global Poverty and Practice and Public Policy. When I’m not studying in Berkeley, I’m active in the Student Environmental Resource Center and other environmental initiatives on campus. I also love food, and love experimenting different ways it can be used as a platform for social activism.

What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bay Area?
The Bay Area has the best weather in the world so I try to enjoy time outside as much as possible. I started rock climbing a few months ago and that’s been mentally and physically invigorating!

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to? 
I’m currently reading Eat Up! by Ruby Tandoh, a delightful read about food and its intersection with politics, art, sexuality, gender, culture, and even class. I’m currently watching Dear White People, a hilarious and powerful show about identity politics in a predominantly white fictional Ivy League school and Annihilation, a sci-fi film about a super bad-ass team of women that embark on a super dark mission! I’m currently listening to (and loving) The Internet.

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