University of New Mexico students Cindy Nava, Yvette Ortega, Trinidad Rodriguez, Jaen Ugalde and Cecilia Velasco were among the 150 students selected nationwide for a competitive leadership development program led by People For the American Way Foundation.
"This class is one of our most diverse and talented yet," said Joy Lawson, director, Young People For. "Each one of our Fellows represents the diversity and energy of the millennial generation, and has the potential to become a national leader in years to come. We look forward to helping Fellows develop the skills they need to make powerful, progressive change on their campuses, in their communities, and around the world."
The 2013-2014 fellowship class hails from 33 states and is made up of young people from community colleges, state universities, historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges, liberal arts colleges, and Ivy League universities.
The Young People For (YP4) fellowship is a rigorous, year-long program focused on identifying, engaging, and empowering young progressive leaders. The fellowship equips college students with the skills and resources necessary to create lasting change on their campuses and in their communities.
Of the more than 500 applications received, Nava was among those selected and will be represent UNM along with the other four selected fellows in the program's regional and national trainings in the upcoming academic year.
Nava will attend a fellowship training of her choice this summer in New York, New Orleans, Chicago or Los Angeles. Additionally, next January all fellows will attend the National conference in Washington, D.C.
A senior majoring in Political Science and Criminology, Nava is a first generation college student and held numerous positions in campus offices including: project assistant at El Centro de la Raza, intern at the Community Engagement Center, ENLACE student, and executive director of the Governmental Affairs Agency with the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico (ASUNM).
A transfer student from the Santa Fe Community College, Nava has served as a strong ally for first generation college student involvement, retention and success and has advocated for the DREAMER movement.
"As a fellow for YP4, I will concentrate on creating a strategic model for a statewide student cohort to address and educate others on the solvency of our New Mexico lottery scholarship as student issue," Nava said "As a first generation college student I understand the need and factors that contribute to the foundation of the Lottery Scholarship and therefore hope to begin statewide interest amongst high school and college students to collectively work with our state's leaders towards a strategy for making it solvent."
Nava, who will graduate in December 2013, said she will also concentrate on the importance of the youth vote in New Mexico and work towards making it a fashion trend that will lead by example across the nation.
For more information, visit: Young People For.