Maria is currently pursuing an M.Sc. in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies at the London School of Economics in England, as a Rotary Global Grant Scholar.
She was born and raised in a small town in Connecticut, and graduated from Stetson University in 2012 with a B.A. in Global Development Studies. During her time at Stetson, she was in the Honors Program, a Bonner Scholar, president of the Oxfam Club, and the Global Issues Community Organizer at the Center for Community Engagement.
After graduation, Maria moved to southern Vietnam to teach English, volunteer with Heifer Vietnam and Peacework Development Fund, and eat as much Vietnamese food as she possibly could. She then took a two-year fellowship opportunity at the Jessie Ball duPont Fund in Jacksonville, FL, where she managed the Fund's small grants initiatives and conducted research to inform future grantmaking strategies.
In her free time, Maria loves to sing, sample cuisine from around the world, and try new hobbies.
"I wouldn't say that my time at Stetson helped me to narrow down my interests. Instead, the professors, students, and staff encouraged me to broaden my horizons and look at life from diverse perspectives. Stetson, and the Bonner program especially, helped me to get involved in the community and see myself as part of a bigger picture - a vision that I still carry with me today."