Maria was 20 years old when she left Cuba and moved to Floria with her family, and as an immigrant, her journey has been “colored by the pillars of struggle and perseverance.” Maria’s educational path came with many twists and turns. To help her family, Maria secured a full-time job and enrolled at Florida International University to study Business
Administration. Three years later, Maria dropped, as she was struggling to understand her classes, and subjects like Macroeconomics and Statistics were proving to be difficult. Maria chose instead to work until she could re-enroll in the future. By 2004, Maria started leaning into her passions, looking further into politics, and after working in several political campaigns through the years, she decided she wanted to do more. Maria decided to return to school and finish her lifelong dream. While raising her son, Maria worked full-time, and continued to volunteer for political campaigns, obtaining an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies and Associate of Arts in Pre-Law, with Honors. Maria is currently a member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society (PTK), of Lambda Epsilon Chi National Honor Society (LEX) and MDC – Honors Day Award recipient for academic achievement in the field of Paralegal Studies. Maria is currently attending Columbia University to finish her Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights. After graduating, Maria’s goal and dream is to become a Foreign Service Officer with the US State Department. Money from the Women’s Forum Education will help Maria alleviate some of her current financial burden and help her elderly mother while her son can also attend college.