María grew up in Petaluma, California, and is a direct product of this immigration nation: her parents are Dutch and first-generation Mexican-American. She received her bachelor’s degree in English at UC Berkeley, which is also where she discovered capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial/folkloric art form. Her love of capoeira led her to Brazil, where she lived for 2 years before riding her bicycle back to California.
María worked as a grant-writer for a number of nonprofits in San Francisco and the East Bay. In her position as Communications Manager, she highlights the stories of our youth and the critically important work they are doing across the state and beyond. She is a resident of Oakland, and is grateful every day to live in such a beautiful, vibrant, and diverse city.