Maria Fernanda was born in Tucson, Arizona then moved to Nogales, Sonora with her family when she was young. She spent 15 years in Nogales before heading back to Tucson in 2008 to continue her education at Rincon High School. Maria’s passion for learning as well as her perseverance helped her overcome the language barrier and graduate in 2010, a year before the estimated time.

After graduating from Rincon High School, Maria continued with her education at Pima Community College and started growing personally and professionally in the sales field.

In 2019, Maria Fernanda decided that it was time for a career change, as she felt the need to help her community. Maria started working as a family support worker with Amazing Grace AZ assisting families in Pima County referred by the Department of Child Safety to participate in the Family Connections Program. Maria received in-depth training from DCS to help families identify areas of need and empower them towards solutions and provide personalized services to best meet the family's needs as identified with the program assessments. Maria looks forward to continuing her education and obtaining her BSW as well as her MSW in the next couple of years.

Maria Fernanda serves as a Program Manager at Amistades, where her primary role involves overseeing a wide range of essential programs. Her responsibilities span various critical areas, including family communication, sexual education, substance abuse education, coalition participation, and extensive community outreach initiatives.

In her capacity as Program Manager, Maria plays an essential role in the development, coordination, and execution of these diverse programs. She works endlessly to ensure that each program aligns with the organization’s mission and goals while making a meaningful impact on the communities served.

Maria’s commitment to the field of program management is evident in her hands-on approach. She collaborates with teams to devise effective strategies, create engaging educational materials, and implement outreach campaigns that foster community awareness and support.