María grew up in Petaluma, California. 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 current position as Communications Director, she highlights the stories of our youth and the critically important work they are doing across the state and beyond. She found community and home in Oakland, and is grateful every day to live in such a beautiful, vibrant, and diverse city.