Maria was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, but considers the San Francisco Bay Area as her home. Making the move from one country to another has shaped Maria’s beliefs on uplifting the global community and applies this philosophy to her work in Girls Leadership. In high school, Maria was involved in community service groups and musical theater, where she recognized a widening gap in confidence between her male and female peers, sparking her interest in women’s issues.
Maria spent her undergraduate career at San Jose State University, where she received a B.S. in Business, concentration in Marketing, in May 2016. While studying business in college, she was a member of a campus organization focused on violence prevention. She joined the Girls Leadership team to put her education in business operations to good use. In her free time, Maria runs a blog dedicated to humanizing the topic of immigration through sharing stories of immigrants living in the United States. She also enjoys reading, hiking, and watching musicals.