Cindy Nava

Cindy Nava

Cindy Nava is a University of New Mexico student and is currently applying into graduate school where she hopes to expand her knowledge to continue being an advocate for access to higher education and educational leadership in the State and nation.

During the past 3 years Cindy has worked on creating a social justice blue print focused on the solvency of the NM lottery scholarship as a national fellow for the organization “Young People For” and therefore worked to organize forums, workshops and presentations on the importance of the scholarship for NM students and provided following steps for taking action by participating in the legislative process.

Last year Cindy was able to intern with Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and joined the Congresswoman at the White House 5 de Mayo Celebration where she had the opportunity to meet President Obama and spoke to Vice President Biden about the importance of immigration reform and educational access for low-income communities.

In July 2014 Cindy was selected by the US Department of education to serve as 1 of 2 NM student representatives at the 50th anniversary commemoration of the signing of the civil rights act of 1964 where she was able to meet and spent time with 10 original Freedom Riders in Arlington, Virginia.


Location: Albuquerque, NM, United States

    Issues Areas:
  • Education Justice

Campus: University of New Mexico - Albuquerque, NM

Fellowship Class Year: 2013

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.

Cindy Nava's Blog Posts

The Time is Now!

The Time is Now!

It is time for unity and collective empowerment. It is time to think strategically, open mindedly, and productively. This should not be the time to stand in division, nor should it be the time to impose fear within our communities across the country.


Better yet, this is the time we may have all been waiting for in order to expand horizons and to comprehend the larger purpose of what we do and whom we do it for.


We all stand on the shoulders of those who walked the paths before us

I stand on the shoulders of my bracero grandparents, and of my housekeeper grandmothers.


I stand on the shoulders of my construction worker father and my housekeeper mother. Whose shoulders do you stand on?


We, as Latinos, immigrants, Hispanics, minorities, people of color, all stand on the shoulders of many who have lost their lives and families while pursuing the American Dream.



Public Media and social network cites feed off of the fear and threat many are publicly stating as if they could accurately represent the voices of all who may be in jeopardy of the actions taken by the next administration.


However, I am confident to say that we don’t all feel the same way. Fear, rejection, threat and insecurity are factors that our families have lived with their entire lives.


So, for me stating that I have ever been Unafraid would be a complete fallacy to my family and myself, simply because it has never been about being Unafraid.


But yet it’s been about deciding what defines us. Though fear lives within our everyday lives, we have chosen to let our work and passion for  a better future guide us through the rough times.


Therefore by boosting a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety we do not WIN anything.


Some of us simply cannot afford to be engulfed within a climate of hatred, attacks and disrespect. Therefore, we must choose to be the bigger person, one who will set an example of transformational leadership that will transcend time and political leadership.



Therefore, this political climate provides us two options.


Number one, which is to petty ourselves for our losses and consciously decide to dwell on the battles lost, which may seen irreparable and thus will lead to direct confrontation without strategic action. Ultimately leaving us with no durable or reliable policy changes to demonstrate the value of our contributions to the Nation that has seen us bloom through our work and persistence.





Option number two which comes down to the inherent responsibility everyone should be feeling now to collaborate, support and join in alliance to empower communities that continue to be threatened by fear and policies that do not represent their work, dedication and passion to succeed. The time to build, reinforce and reconstruct burned bridges is most definitely now.


The time to hold hands with all allies is now.  The time to educate those who do not understand who we are, what we do and how we positively contribute into the growth of this nation is now.


Let’s unify forces, let’s empower the powerless through the brilliance of understanding the strength of constructive dialogue through leadership action that will stand on behalf of the many unheard voices who work day by day to make this Country a better place for the generations of tomorrow.



Skin in the Game

The 2016 election countdown is quickly approaching and in less than one month a new President of the United States will be elected. By now, most of us recognize that there’s much more than the fate of a political party at stake. This election is about the future of the people who have and continue to be underrepresented throughout our systems but yet tend to be the most affected by laws and policies that threaten or undermine their well being.

As we all know, an important demographic within the Country will hold a pivotal role during this election. Women will will play a key role within this election representing 51% of the US population.

On August 6, 1965 The Voting Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, providing ALL women in the United States the ability to cast a ballot as full citizens — including women of color. Now, fifty-two years after women were fully granted the right to vote we are faced with perhaps the most unprecedented election in US history. Not only have millions of glass ceilings been shattered by the fact that we have the first woman ever to be nominated by a major party for the United States presidency, but at the same time we have seen a harsh reality of hatred, bigotry, disrespect, towards women through toxic rhetoric around sexual violence that has generated an instant wave of action for many of us .

As a millennial, an undocumented immigrant, a daughter of immigrants, a DREAMer, a first generation college graduate, a low-income student, and most of all as a young woman, this Presidential election has quickly become much more than a political stunt.
In leadership and in politics we frequently hear the notion of having “skin in the game” when decision-making. Ultimately I believe that this coming November 8, 2016 every single person in the US will have vital skin in the game for which they should account for.

As girls and women…. we have skin in the game.
As sisters, fathers, mothers, brothers, cousins, friends, grandparents, descendants of immigrants and as an entire nation we have skin in the game through the direct responsibility we hold upon the role models we aught to be for the coming generations of leaders across the country of all ethnic backgrounds, cultural differences, sexual orientations and genders.

We are in the midst of deciding the destiny of our nation by making the choice to improve the broken systems and needs of our communities across the country. We will have the opportunity to serve as pragmatic leaders who are ready to build a world where feminine people are empowered in their own right instead of being routinely harassed, discriminated against, and under-valued.

As a proud Mexican American I believe that the President of the United States should not only be a role model to the generations of tomorrow, but they should have effective plans and policy proposals to unify the people of the nation. A president should to have the ability to understand policies, laws, and most of all should have a composed and respectful moral character that stands on the foundation of inclusivity, diversity and respect for all.

As an advocate for low income, minority, first generation young women of color I stand for the wellbeing of all girls and women. I believe every individual holds a responsibility to support girls and women as they cultivate their own leadership potential and grow into the strong and powerful advocates they are meant to be.

On November 8th we hold the future of girls and women in the palm of our hands. Look at the issues, track records, and facts to hold candidates accountable for their demonstration of character or absence of it. Listen to their words and to the morals they stand true to. Remember that the rising leaders and the coming generations of this nation deserve the opportunity to thrive and lead through a country full of integrity, inclusiveness, respect and leadership for all.