Maria holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology and an MSEd in Educational Linguistics from The University of Pennsylvania. While getting her BA, Maria lived on the Navajo reservation in Big Mountain, Arizona working for the tribal government in community infrastructure. After graduation, Maria moved to New York where she worked as a business manager for a streaming media dot-com. Maria has been a classroom teacher in both public and private sectors. She has worked in non-profits for Educational Policy and as Education Director at private schools including Sylvan Learning Center and Bright Horizons.