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    Paula Nazario


    Monica Salinas Policy Fellow

    Paula Nazario is a first-year Master’s in Public Policy student at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She also attended UCLA as an undergraduate student where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a double minor in Education and Civic Engagement Studies. As a first-generation student, she found it difficult to find resources in her community that would enable her to apply to college. However, with the support of her family and local nonprofit centers, she was the first in her family to graduate from college. Paula encountered several challenges with navigating the college application process and experienced imposter syndrome throughout college. These experiences motivated her to mentor and advise low-income students in her own community. Nonetheless, Paula witnessed more barriers in college access from the lens of students, teachers, and high school counselors, which only reaffirmed her decision to advocate for underserved youth in her community. She has a strong interest in higher education policy, with the hope of increasing college access and making higher education affordable to low-income youth. Paula’s commitment to her community is evident through her work in assisting first-generation students with the college application process, advocating for more funding in K-12 education, and empowering those in her community to be civically engaged.