Maria Ramirez is a Latina, first-generation high school and college graduate born in Chicago, Illinois. As of August 2020, she serves as a College Advancement Mentor for the Public Education Foundation. She hopes not only to help high school seniors navigate through the college application process but also hopes to create strong bonds and inspire students that she will meet. Maria also wants to make sure that each student feels comfortable talking to her while they transition and experience their first year of college wherever that may be as she was just there in their shoes not too long ago.
Maria graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South with a Bachelor of Arts in Environment & Sustainability (with a focus on water accessibility and environmental justice) with a double minor in Music and Spanish. During her time at college, she was selected to the prestigious Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Michigan for two consecutive summers where she met African-American pioneer and conservationist, Dr. Dorceta Taylor. This program fostered her passion for environmental justice and was inspired by the many bright minds that she got to connect. Because of this program, she got to collaborate with other environmental friends and started an environmental magazine titled “Platform” to elevate BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) voices and experiences in relation to their “green roots.” She was also an avid clarinet player at the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra for three years and is currently learning how to play the acoustic guitar.
During Maria’s free time, she loves making music, listening to music, singing, dancing, and spending time with her friends. She is a little rusty on her Italian skills but still loves to watch vintage Italian films. In the near future, she hopes to start her graduate studies on environmental justice at the University of Michigan