International Student: Dominican Republic

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Photo Credit: Trent Bates

Photo Credit: Trent Bates

International student Katty Perez is not hesitant to express her views on the corruption caused by the low economy of her native country, the Dominican Republic.

A senior in Business Finance and Banking, Perez encourages students to take advantage of every opportunity they are presented. As miss UVU international in 2008 and assistant coordinator in the Latinos Initiative, she loves helping students — especially international students — to succeed.

Having been in the U.S. for only four years, Perez still has family in the Dominican Republic being affected by the declining world economy. Growing up in the capital town of Baní, Perez said that she always felt that her home town was safe until recently.

Recently Perez’s stepfather was stopped on his way home and robbed by three men.

“People are afraid to go out by themselves late at night. Because the economy is so bad, people are just trying to take what other people have.”

Though tourist areas are safe, Perez says that because of the high corruption in the government, the economy is worse than ever, and that as the economy decreases, poverty increases, as does robbery. “It is really sad,” said Perez. “Girls can’t even wear their hair in ponytails and walk around. People will cut it off and sell it.”

Perez plans on finishing her degree at UVU then moving on to get her master’s degree before moving back to the Dominican Republic. “I want to help make things better there and teach people that corruption isn’t the only way to succeed.”