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LAS CRUCES NATIVE ALEXIS PADILLA-TORRES

Local returns from D.C. internship, heading to Cyprus

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Las Cruces native Alexis Padilla-Torres has just returned from an internship in Washington, D.C. and will be spending the spring semester at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus. When she graduates from the University of New Mexico this fall, the 22-year-old hopes to join the Peace Corps and return to Latin America. She has already studied abroad in Peru and South Korea, and has visited Costa Rica, Jamaica, Canada and Mexico.

“I travel. That’s my fun,” Padilla-Torres said. She plans to visit all seven continents by age 25 and at least 30 different countries by age 30.

She said she also would like to receive a U.S. Department of State fellowship and continue her education by earning a master’s of business administration. Her long-term goal is to work in to work in human resources for a Fortune 500 company.

A 2016 graduate of Centennial High School, Padilla-Torres has attended UNM for the past four years, majoring in Chicanx Studies and political science with a minor in management.

 During her travels outside New Mexico, Padilla-Torres said she realized “how unique and special our culture and our state are. I take great pride in being a New Mexican and being an advocate and the voice at the table that shares our perspective.”

During high school, Padilla-Torres interned for former Doña Ana County State Rep. Bealquin “Bill” Gomez. She also attended Girls State in high school and later worked on the 2018 political campaign of U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M. She was a UNM legislative intern last year.

In Washington, D.C. for several months at the end of 2019, Padilla-Torres completed an internship with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

In D.C., Padilla-Torres said she had “the amazing opportunity to grow and deepen my understanding of the political process, expand and develop long lasting connections and networks and embrace my Latin identity.”

Padilla-Torres said she inherited a strong work ethic from her parents. She has two jobs in Albuquerque to support herself and her travels.

“Working and balancing school is hard,” she said. “I just keep moving forward (and) focus on what makes me happy. I’ve been able to do well in school and still enjoy my life and traveling.”

As she continues “working so hard to pave the path for other youth and Latinx leaders,” Padilla-Torres said her advice to others is “look up, reach out. A lot of people are willing to help you. You just have to ask them.”

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