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Our Staff

Cindy Nava, Executive DirectorCindy_Head_Shot

Cindy Nava is a UNM Alumni, a policy analyst, education and immigration advocate and a NM leader working to craft and ensure that the voices of underserved communities are represented in the legislative process. Cindy is a national motivational speaker and has been called one of the  "40 under 40: Latinos in American Politics" to watch by the Huffington Post.

After becoming the first Dreamer to intern for the National Democratic Committee headquarters in DC Cindy returned to NM to continue working through policy and civic engagement to empower NM students and marginalized communities. Cindy’s work has been recognized at a state and national level and continues to make pathways within policy and politics for those who have been disenfranchised and pushed away from the policy making process. Cindy graduated from the Santa Fe Community College, with an AA degree, then went on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico and is currently completing a MA degree in Educational Leadership and Policy with a concentration in Higher Ed from UNM.

In her previous roles, Cindy served as a House majority education analyst for the NM House of Representatives, as a research assistant at the UNM Center for Education Policy Research and as a Graduate Community Outreach Fellow for ENLACE NM. Cindy is a blogger for the Huffington Post and recently completed a TEDxTalk focused on empowerment.

Please contact Cindy at

Emma Jones, Lead OrganizerEmma_HeadShot

Emma was born and raised in the South Valley of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Prior to joining Learning Alliance, she worked with the Southwest Organizing Project for more than 10 years. Emma co-directed SWOP, created the Youth Employment Summer Institute and guided the youth organizing work. She is a small business owner, writer, artist, and mother whose passion has led her to author the “Cholas of the Round House” blog, and she speaks publicly at venues like TEDxABQ Education to talk about the impact of systemic racism on parent and student engagement.

Please contact Emma at

 Janelle Astorga-Ramos, Youth OrganizerJanelle headshot

Janelle Astorga-Ramos is a student at the University of New Mexico. She's studying Political Science and Chicanx Studies, with a focus in education. Janelle has been community organizing since she was 14 years old.

She says, "Being a youth organizer for Learning Alliance is extremely exciting because it gives me a chance to help develop and train students to become leaders in their community, just the way I was once empowered to be."



Bella Baker, Youth OrganizerBella headshot

Bella has been organizing since she was 9 years old. Her stepmom organized and brought Bella with her to events, meetings and lobbying at the Capital. Bella's focused passion for organizing is around educational reform and justice because she herself had issues with the public school systems treating her as less than what she was or deserved because of who she was and where she came from. Prior to joining Learning Alliance, Bella worked with: Southwest Organizing Project, Juntos NM, OLE, VIA, and Strong Families NM.

Bella says, "I have a passion for organizing and social justice as well as being involved in my community and fighting for it. I'm excited to be working for Learning Alliance where I can continue to focus on social justice through educational reform. I want to build with new people, learn from others just as much as I teach others and become a strong youth through my leadership. Estoy deseando este nuevo viaje!"

Our Founding Members and Board

The Learning Alliance of New Mexico is currently applying for 501(c)(3) status. The Partnership for Community Action is the fiscal sponsor.

Please note: Organizations are included solely for the purpose of identification. 

Board Members:
  • Charles Ashley III, Cultivating Coders
  • Kara Bobroff, Native American Community Academy & NACA-Inspired School Network
  • Marsha Garcia, Consultant
  • Everette Hill, Social Innovations Strategies Group LLC
  • Michelle Otero, Artist, Writer, Entrepreneur, Coach, Healer
Past Board Members:
  • Angelo Gonzales Ph.D, Mission: Graduate
  • Landon Mascareñaz Ed.L.D, A + Colorado
  • Tony Monfiletto, New Mexico Center for School Leadership
  • Adrian Pedroza, Partnership for Community Action
  • Katarina Sandoval, Native American Community Academy
  • Chris Sturgis, MetisNet