Vice President Joe Biden and UNM student Cindy Nava
UNM student Cindy Nava, second from left, is pictured with (l. to r.) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

University of New Mexico student and chair of the Young Democrats of New Mexico Women's Caucus, Cindy Nava, will be awarded the National Federation of Democratic Women Founders Award in June in Kansas City, Mo., at the organization's national convention later this month.

Representatives from the New Mexico Federation of Democratic Women (NMFDW) and statewide leaders, including Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and Congressmen Ben Ray Lujan, worked together to create a strong nomination for Nava.

Throughout the 37 years, the award has been endowed, 33 women from across the nation have been recipients. Upon the presentation of the award, the recipient will receive a monetary stipend prize and a fellowship to work with the Democratic National Committee in Washington, DC.

"As a first generation college student, a well-known student leader and a member of programs such as ENLACE, and the UNM Civic Engagement Center, I will be honored to proudly represent the future of young women in New Mexico politics at a state and national level," Nava said. She will complete her bachelor's degree this summer.

Nava will work with UNM Community Engagement Center and with the ENLACE program at UNM until the end of the year. Afterward, she plans to apply to a graduate program either in law or public policy. She is also an advocate for Legislative Lottery Scholarship and plans to continue working on the solvency of the scholarship while at UNM.

"I look forward to continue working on the solvency of the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship on a statewide level through UNM and the United States Student Association, which I am now part of by encouraging New Mexico students to become advocates and leaders alongside our champion education policymakers to continue creating accessibility for our New Mexico communities," Nava said. "I will forever be grateful for all the opportunities UNM has provided for me to go far and beyond what I ever thought I could achieve through individuals, faculty, staff, organizations and programs that believed in me every step of the way."

To be considered for this award, letters of recommendations from public officials must be submitted. Recipients also must demonstrate heavy involvement within democratic women to support and encourage young women to be involved with the Democratic Party and to potentially consider running for office in the future.

The NMFDW was formed in October 1971 in Washington, DC. The award was established six years later and named in honor of Rilla Moran Woods, the founder and first president of the federation. It was created to help young women who demonstrate an outstanding interest in democratic politics at the local and state level. Recipients gain a broader access and experience at the national level and demonstrate the NFDW’s commitment to involving young democratic women in the Democratic Party.