Maria grew up in the Hudson Valley in New York State and has lived in rural farming communities for most of her life, working on small farms throughout.
She began her education studying Sustainable Agriculture at UMass Amherst. In that program, she had the opportunity to broaden her understanding of the food system and learn directly from local producers. She brought that knowledge to New York City, where she continued her education in Public Health and Reproductive Rights at Hunter College.
Prior to joining the NAMA/NFFC teams, Maria was working as Operations Assistant and Housing Advocate for a domestic violence crisis center, providing support in the emergency shelter and assisting survivors in accessing housing. Previously, she had served as Operations Assistant at Coming Clean, getting to know the back-end of community organizing.