Alexa Maqueo Toledo
Youth Advocacy Fellow
Alexa serves as the youth advocacy fellow for Ed Trust-Tennessee, where she supports EmpowerED youth advocacy efforts. She is responsible for creating a resource hub for undocumented youth pursuing higher education, school counselors seeking resources and tools, parents and guardians of undocumented students, and allies broadly.
Alexa also works as a college and career access coach at the Knoxville Education Foundation. Previously, she served as a league leader with the EmpowerED network and was an Urban Leaders Fellow during the summer of 2022.
Born in Mexico City, Alexa immigrated to East Tennessee in her early childhood. She recently graduated from Maryville College, where she was active in student organizations during undergraduate studies, such as the Latinx Student Alliance, Student Government Association, and the admissions office’s Ambassador Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in Spanish.
My go-to superpower is always fire, which is often a metaphor in my culture for passion and drive. I love how fire can be both a savior and a destroyer; it just depends on who wields it and their intentions, just like an individual.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
I love books and reading. I currently have over 200 books and hope to have a personal library of 1,000. I have been known to read a book in a day (or night).
What drew you to education?
I come from a family who values a strong education, so I always knew I would attend college. But as a DACA recipient, I faced many barriers that shocked me when this was the only place I’ve ever called home. Once in college, I met other first-generation DACA recipients and undocumented students who felt out of place in higher education. I realized the lack of support and resources for my community, especially after constant political attacks, and this ignited the fire in me to start my journey in educational advocacy.