Maria was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. She is a first generation college graduate from the University of Washington, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Biology. Maria’s identity as both a Black and Filipino young woman drove her desire to explore intersections of identities, ideas, and experiences, through her work in activism and community organizing. Her previous professional work includes research at the UW Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, organizing for the 2017 King County “Access for All” ballot initiative, and most recently program and fund development work at Humanities Washington. In 2018 Maria served as the Nevada State Captain for Common Purpose, and led teams to Reno and Las Vegas to register voters and support key campaigns. Common Purpose allows Maria to put her passions to work in engaging with and improving our democracy. She is motivated by increasing equity in education and health, economic and environmental justice, and the liberation of marginalized communities everywhere. Maria is also a visual artist, and puts creativity and connections to people at the center of all her work.