Perez headshot

Emerson Fellow

Rocio Perez

27th Class, 2020-2021

Rocio Perez is a first-generation Latina who was born and raised in Downtown Los Angeles. Growing up in a low-income and predominantly undocumented community, Rocio learned how to navigate educational, legal, and health barriers that influenced her public service career. She has staffed a bill aimed at protecting low-income workers under CalFresh and CalWORKs, provided post-release services to Central American unaccompanied minors on behalf of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and contributed to detention research by the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (CCIJ) to successfully secure $4.7 million in state funding for deportation defense services. In the future, Rocio plans to pursue a Master’s in Public Policy to shape immigration policy that protects immigrant communities in all social, political and economic domains of society.

Field placement: California Association of Food Banks

Oakland, California

Rocio is working with the California Association of Food Banks where she is collaborating with food banks, school food banks, school district representatives, and state agencies to distribute her P-EBT survey focused on analyzing P-EBT recipients with the program. Alongside the Communications team, she designed a social media kit (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram graphics translated in English, Spanish, and Chinese) and a survey guide that explains the design and flow of the survey to share with partners. Currently, Rocio is scheduling interviews with stakeholders (state agencies, school districts, policy organizations, food banks) and P-EBT recipients to expand upon her survey and obtain a bigger picture of P-EBT in California.

Policy placement: Center for Law and Social Policy

Washington, D.C.

Rocio Perez's work with the CLASP Job Quality Team contributed to the organization's work on equitable implementation of paid leave. After exploring all the facets of what a successful and equitable paid leave program looks like, Rocio compiled a piece detailing the challenges and advantages of a paid leave program as a blueprint for agencies and states around the country. Her work was utilized to make recommendations on how paid family and medical leave policies can be used to bolster existing income and work support programs.

Publications & Blog Posts