Maria Zapata
María Elena Zapata

​California State University, ​Monterey Bay
William Randolph Hearst Scholar

I am proof that anyone is capable of achieving what they want, with support and guidance.

María Zapata’s biggest challenge has been dealing with her mother’s illness. Her mother’s undocumented status and limited health insurance led María to work multiple jobs to pay for medication.

María is now a first-generation, Latinx student attending CSU Monterey Bay, majoring in liberal studies through the teacher credential pathway. With a 3.70 GPA, María is proud to be a full-time student earning high honors. She is also a mentor and volunteer at the First Tee of Monterey County, where she teaches children educational core values through the sport of golf.

María aspires to give back to her community by becoming a teacher. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she hopes to earn a master’s degree in educational administration ​to become an elementary school principal.