Karina Perez

Karina Perez

Columbus, Nebraska

For the past four years, I’ve served as executive director of Centro Hispano, in Columbus, Nebraska, which collaborates with the Center for Rural Affairs on several projects. Centro Hispano’s mission is to foster intentional change for immigrant families, learners, and entrepreneurs through direct services, programming, and advocacy. While working toward those goals, I learned about the Center and the similar objectives shared by the nonprofits.

My interest in the Center and the relationship I formed with it continued to grow, and for the past few years, I’ve served on the Center’s Advisory Committee. In March 2021, I was asked to join the Board of Directors.

I wanted to get involved because the Center's work aligns with my personal life. The organization advocates for those who are underserved and underrepresented in rural Nebraska communities. I’m excited to explore my role on the Board, and I’m grateful to the Center staff for introducing me to the many layers of work with farmers and communities. They help address many issues around inequities that exist for immigrant families and racial disparities that BI+POC individuals face.

To me, the mission of the Center means that our rural communities are moving forward—taking the lead, with guidance from the Center, on the values that mean most to them. My nonprofit background helps me appreciate the importance of being an engaged and committed Board member. And, even though I’m just beginning this journey, I’m excited to see what the future holds. I hope to see the Center continue to flourish and adapt to ever-changing needs for our rural communities. I look forward to collaborating and helping move forward the mission of the Center across rural Nebraska.

Learn more about Karina on our blog.