At the age of 10, Mariana’s childhood was cut short when her mother was diagnosed with cancer and she began to look after her siblings. Two years after her mother was diagnosed, she made a choice to migrate to Marin County, CA, in hopes of being able to give her children a lifestyle rich in opportunities. With that came more challenges that Mariana had to face not only making her stronger but independent. Soon after her arrival in the United States, Mariana was impacted by culture shock. Unable to adapt to her new surroundings, Mariana suffered from discrimination from her peers and teachers in her new school. Despite feeling like she did not belong, Mariana was able to overcome the obstacles that crossed her path and went on to accomplish great things.
Despite the fact that Mariana worked hard to earn an opportunity to attend a university after high school, her economic status impeded her from making her dream come true. However, she did not give up. Proud of her hard work, she was able to graduate from the College of Marin with an Associate of Arts degree in Spanish and an Associate’s degree transfer in psychology. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in psychology at San Francisco State University, and will soon apply for the School of Counseling at SFSU.
Mariana is working hard to help people overcome and combat harmful stereotypes that immigrants face in this country. Her past experiences have sparked a passion for helping others with their career paths. As a DreamSF Fellow, Mariana is placed at MEDA Workforce Development, where she assists low-income community members by seeking for jobs while helping them access opportunities for career growth.
Mariana finds herself spending most of her free time on hikes with her dogs. She also finds great peace when listening to music as her mind wanders detaching from her busy everyday life. She loves to keep an open mind and explore new places and foods when possible. She loves not only to taste new foods, but she also loves to learn more about the different cultures that take pride in their dishes.