Alexandria was born in The Bronx to working class parents: her father was a small business owner and architect from the South Bronx, and her mother cleaned homes after moving to New York from Arecibo, Puerto Rico. As school violence and dropout rates in The Bronx rose in the early 90’s, her parents put their savings together and purchased a modest home 30 miles north of the city in search of better schools for the family. As a result, much of Alexandria’s adolescence was spent in transit between her tight-knit extended family in The Bronx and school in Yorktown Heights. It struck Alexandria as unfair, even then, how the opportunities available to children and their families were often based on their ZIP code.
Alexandria went on to study Economics and International Relations at Boston University. At the start of her sophomore year, Alexandria's father passed away suddenly from cancer at just 48 years old. Facing huge medical bills, the family risked foreclosure and her mother took another job driving a school bus. The unjust medical debt left a lasting impression on Alexandria, and she sought out an internship in the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s office. Upon graduating college, Alexandria came back to The Bronx and pursued work in education and community organizing: as an Educational Director for the National Hispanic Institute, she worked with promising high school youth to expand their skill-sets in community leadership and social enterprise; she also piloted projects to help improve literacy skills in young children and middle-schoolers. But as the economy floundered, Alexandria found herself working two jobs and 18-hour shifts in restaurants to help keep her family afloat, while balancing student loan and insurance payments.