Maria was born and raised in Queens, New York. She graduated in 2019 from Kansas State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. She then went on to graduate from the University of Georgia in 2021 with a master’s degree in agriculture and environmental education with an emphasis in agricultural communication. Prior to joining the NASDA team, Maria earned diverse work experience as a graduate teaching assistant for UGA, government affairs intern for both Kansas Corn and Yum! Brands Co. and as a professional conference facilitator for the National FFA Organization.