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CHCI-Walmart Intern
Hometown: Cedar Hill, Texas
School: Lamar University
Major: Social Work
Placement: The Office of Rep. Lori Trahan

Maria was born and raised in Cedar Hill, Texas, just south of Dallas. Her parents instilled in her at a young age the value and importance of hard work and education. Her mother’s very reason for immigrating from Mexico was to provide a better life for her children, which infused in Maria the desire to fulfill these hopes. As both a first-generation college student and a first-generation American, Maria has had to overcome many obstacles but does not allow them to slow her down.

Maria is currently a senior at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where she is a Social Work major. She decided to become a social work major to help others and be the resource that she wishes her family could have had. At Lamar, she took it upon herself to gain from any research opportunity offered, and in her freshman year, she presented in the Office of Undergraduate Research Exposition. Now in her senior year, she has presented her research on how immigration policy results in family separation at the McNair Research Symposium. Upon completing her degree, she plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work to empower her to simultaneously give back to her community locally and advocate for policy changes nationally.

As a CHCI Intern, Maria hopes to gain insight into the inner workings of the legislature and learn how policymakers approach social policy. She hopes that this experience will empower her to make a difference at any level of policy.