Maria is currently working at Unshackled Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund created in 2014 to support foreign-born entrepreneurs as they turn their innovative ideas into reality. Previous to joining Unshackled, Maria worked at FWD.us an immigration lobbying group founded by Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders. During her time at FWD.us she worked directly with the chief of staff and the president on fundraising strategy and partnerships. Maria also worked as assistant to the Silicon Valley finance director for Hillary for America and as a fellow for Obama’s 2012 campaign. She recently was selected to lead marketing at OpenIDEO during the higher education affordability challenge. Her passions lie in education, entrepreneurship and Latino community empowerment. Maria is a mentor at Year Up, Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, and BUILDUP Fund.
n 2015, Maria founded a program for Orange County Public Schools - 10th largest district in the US. The program, called the Super Scholar Success Initiative, helps first generation and low-income students across the district succeed at top 25 colleges.
Maria graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015 with a double major in Political Science and Legal Studies and a minor in Public Policy. She also co-founded civic tech startup, Encire.