Cindy Nava- YP4’13

Cindy Nava is a graduate research assistant at the University of New Mexico Center for Education Policy Research. Her work in policy, advocacy and civic engagement has led her to lead distinctive statewide and national policy agendas to support access to higher education for minority students.  Through her political engagement Cindy has become the first dreamer/undocumented immigrant to imbed herself in democratic leadership at a state and national level. In 2015, Cindy became the first dreamer to serve as an intern for the Democratic National Committee in DC, and in 2016 became the first dreamer to be awarded the Rising Star Award by the NM Democratic Party.  Cindy is currently completing an MA degree in Higher Education Leadership and Policy, recently served as a NM House of Reps legislative education analyst and does motivational speaking across the country focused on empowering minority students. Cindy is a blogger for the Huffington Post and was recently completed a TEDx Talk focused on empowerment.


Location: Albuquerque, NM, United States

    Issues Areas:
  • Education Justice

Campus: University of New Mexico - Albuquerque, NM

Fellowship Class Year: 2013

    Fellow Groups:
  • Alumni Board

Blueprint: Fighting for the New Mexico Scholarship Lottery System

Cindys involvement in student government, community centered fellowships, education and immigration work, and in progressive policy advocacy in New Mexico (NM) have allowed her to create a dynamic and effective Blueprint for Social Justice. Through her Blueprint, Cindy has created a direct collaborative alliance of organizations, community members, and policy makers to ensure underrepresented and low-income, first-generation New Mexican students have access to higher education. Cindys Blueprint works to create an informational campaign to assist students and communities to become engaged in the fight for saving the most important scholarship given to all high school graduates in her state, the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship. Historically, this scholarship has provided higher education tuition coverage for 4 years, but it had become insolvent. Several exclusionary, merit, and excellence-based solutions have been proposed, all of which would have excluded many low income students the primary recipients of the lottery scholarship from receiving benefits. By conducting informational forums between students, community leaders, and policy makers, Cindys Blueprint has united her community around the legislative debates surrounding the New Mexico lottery scholarship, organizing people for progressive change and ultimately saving the lottery scholarship.