CHCI-Coca-Cola Public Policy Fellow
Hometown: Compton, California
School: University of California, Irvine
Degree: B.A. in Political Science and International Studies
Placement 1: The Office of Representative Jimmy Gomez
Placement 2: Office of International Trade, U.S. Small Business Administration
Alexia Iman Burquez was born and raised in the low-income communities of Lynwood and Compton, California. She is a first-generation, Mexican American who is proud of her heritage and is committed to advancing the Latinx community. Alexia’s early exposure to the implications of living in the inner-city – drugs, violence, poverty, lack of access to vital resources – fueled her passion to advocate for poor, underrepresented, and underprivileged people like herself. Alexia’s longing to escape instability at home incidentally led her to become a diligent student who managed to excel academically. Alexia continued her academic journey at the University of California, Irvine where she received a Bachelor of Arts with a dual major in political science and international studies. Alexia’s direct and indirect associations with poverty, immigration, and both the public education and criminal justice systems inspired her to pursue a career committed to deconstructing institutional barriers and providing access to historically marginalized communities.
As a first-generation, low-income college student, Alexia experienced first-hand the many barriers to accessing and navigating higher education. The adversities she faced growing up and during her journey at an institution of higher education emboldened Alexia to become involved in extracurricular activities related to workers’ rights, civic engagement, economic equity, education advocacy, and criminal justice reform efforts. During her time at UC Irvine, Alexia served as an ambassador for the Student Achievement Guided by Experience Program (SAGE), an organization at UC Irvine that increases access to higher education for ultra-low-income, high achieving students. Alexia is also a founding member of the Underground Scholars Initiative (USI) chapter at UC Irvine, a campus organization dedicated to bolstering student success for the formerly incarcerated. As a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Law Fellow, Alexia engaged in rigorous policy-related coursework where she researched different strategies to effectively and ethically eliminate mass incarceration. Alexia also championed workers’ rights and economic equity through her roles as a Trabajadora Fellow and a United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Business Development Fellow, leading and participating in Latina Equal Pay Day initiatives to promote Latinx economic prosperity. Alexia’s work is rooted in her commitment to advancing the Latinx community and helping eliminate systems that perpetuate poverty and oppression.
During her time with CHCI, Alexia hopes to learn more about the democratic process and how she can leverage her role as a fellow to foster transformative change in government and politics. Additionally, she also hopes to learn more about creating pathways to access for marginalized people in the traditionally exclusive realms of law, policy, technology, and government as a means of establishing a more inclusive workforce. Alexia believes that her experiences as a fellow will best prepare her for a successful legal career in the near future. Alexia is an aspiring lawyer who wants to practice criminal defense and provide impartial opportunities for individuals to be defended under the rule of law. As a means to combat poverty and its implications, Alexia also hopes to fund initiatives that will help Latinx and other historically marginalized communities, and establish sustainable avenues for generating inter-generational wealth.