Maria is an accomplished athlete and student. She loves to attend sporting events and show off her skills on and off the field. Maria enjoys hanging out with her family and improving her knowledge regarding sports.

Maria recently graduated from a 2-year program created for individuals with developmental disabilities at Fresno State in which she learned independence skills. With the skills that she learned, Maria is working towards living an independent life through future employment and eventually living on her own. Her previous employment at a movie theater and a Veterans Affairs hospital and allowed her to gain experience and provided social opportunities.

In addition to her employment experience, Maria is an avid lover of all sports, in particular, football. When she was just one years old, her grandparents would take her to college football games and from that point on she fell in love with sports. Maria built so many positive memories surrounded by family and sports. Since 2014, Maria has participated in the Special Olympics and has won 16 gold medals! She competes in basketball, flag football, bowling, swimming, tennis and softball. With social distancing measures in place, she has continued to train at home and maintains a disciplined attitude for working out.

Her inspiration comes from talented athletes such as Lebron James and Michael Jordan. She is wise and recognizes the importance of separating the athletic talent from any negative characteristics her sports role models may have and works hard to not emulate those patterns.

She learns from their physical skill and applies that in her training or even when she just wants to have fun! Maria enjoys playing basketball the most because it’s a high energy sport and she loves to wear a jersey and be a part of a team.

One of Maria’s favorite memories is when she traveled to Washington state to watch in person a college football game with her family. Her goal is to continue to travel the country and attend college games in every stadium across the states. She also plans to continue pursuing playing sports and building her skill.