Making it Count

Having grown up on a farm, Lianna Byler MY ’24 feels compelled to protect rural communities like hers from climate change. At Yale, she’s learning how.

Lianna Byler MY ’24
Lianna Byler MY ’24
Lianna Byler MY ’24
Lianna Byler MY ’24

After learning that she was accepted to Yale, Lianna Byler MY ’24 joyously shared the news with her parents before calling her high school teacher and mentor. “There was a lot of happy crying all around,” says Lianna. Laughing, she adds, “It’s almost like you didn’t really get into Yale unless you cry!” 

Now that she’s here, Lianna is determined to make her time count. Having grown up on a farm, she feels compelled to protect rural communities like hers from the impending effects of global warming. At Yale, Lianna plans to double major in environmental studies, pairing it with either political science or history. “I intend to get involved with agriculture policy and sustainable development,” she explains. “Climate change is a major threat to these communities, and I want to help ensure they can adapt.” 

Since coming to Yale, Lianna quickly found like-minded peers and set to gaining the knowledge and experience she will need one day to become a climate leader. As a first-year, she joined Students for Environmental Policy Analysis, researching climate bills and reaching out to US Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro to spur meaningful action. 

Lianna’s favorite place on campus is the largest courtyard in Pauli Murray College, where she meets her suitemates for outdoor hangouts. But it’s during the walk down College Street past Cross Campus when Lianna’s excitement for Yale is renewed. “I look around and think, ‘Oh my gosh, I go to Yale!’ Financial aid is the reason I’m here. Without it, none of this would be possible for me. I’m so grateful to have the chance to make the most of these incredible opportunities.”

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