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.