Growing up in an underserved community, Karina took on responsibilities at a young age, starting work at her mother's grocery store at the age of 12 due to her fluency in English. This early exposure to customer service fostered her business acumen, leading her to work for eight years as a bartender at a casino, where she honed her ability to connect with people and provide exceptional service. After becoming a single parent, Karina returned to college and was elected as the Student Senate President, opening up new opportunities for her.
During her internship with the Government Relations team at Faegre Drinker, Karina realized the potential of her voice to advocate for causes she cares about. This led her to pursue a dual degree in Political Science and Psychology with the aim of amplifying her voice and becoming an advocate for those without one. Driven by a desire to address systemic challenges faced by her community, Karina uses her experiences to empower and elevate her voice, becoming a force for positive change and a voice for the marginalized. She has since worked in U.S. Senator Tina Smith's office and now serves as the Vice President of LeadMN, advocating for community and technical college students on both state and federal levels. Karina is currently working to advocate for the needs of college students and improve their college experience, as well as the experiences of future students. In this role, Karina is committed to improving the college experience for students and elevating their voices by working in collaboration with them towards a better future.