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Michelle De La Isla facts for kids

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Michelle De La Isla
Michelle De La Isla.jpg
Mayor of Topeka
In office
January 8, 2018 – January 4, 2022
Preceded by Larry Wolgast
Succeeded by Mike Padilla
Personal details
Born (1976-03-19) March 19, 1976 (age 46)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Education University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
Wichita State University (BS)
Fort Hays State University (MBA)
Harvard University

Michelle De La Isla (born March 19, 1976) is an American politician who served as the mayor of Topeka, Kansas from 2018 to 2022. She previously served on the Topeka City Council from 2013 to 2018. De La Isla was the city's first Latina and single mother to serve as mayor. She was the Democratic nominee for Kansas's 2nd congressional district in the 2020 election, but lost.

Early life and education

Born in New York City, De La Isla grew up mostly in Puerto Rico. She attended the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez before moving to Wichita, Kansas in 2000. She experienced homelessness and gave birth to a child as a teenager. In 2001, she graduated from Wichita State University with a bachelor of science degree in biology. She received an MBA in leadership and human resources from Fort Hays State University and is in the MPA program for mid-career professionals at Harvard University.


De La Isla worked as a teacher for Upward Bound. In 2005, she moved to Topeka, Kansas, and joined Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc. as its Community Relations and Spanish Services Coordinator, and later, its Chief Financial Officer.

Personal life

De La Isla has two daughters and one son.

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