PlacementRepresentative Barbara Lee
Fellowship Presented By
Congressional Technology Fellow
Maria Salmeron Melendez is an Afro-Latina, Garifuna immigrant from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She moved to the United States in 2010 and has called Montgomery County, MD home ever since. Her upbringing in the greater DC area greatly influenced her advocacy and political aspirations, primarily through her involvement with the Minority Scholars Program— a student-led initiative to mitigate racial academic gaps in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). She was an active leader in the movement, which quickly developed her strong passion for equitable and culturally competent education policy, and led to her recognition as a 2017 Gold Recipient for the National Hispanic Heritage Foundation Youth Awards.
Today, Maria is a recent Harvard Graduate School of Education graduate. She earned her Ed.M. in Education Policy and Analysis and championed her passion for trauma-informed and social-emotional learning education policy. During her time at Harvard, Maria served as a clinical student at the Harvard Law Education Law Clinic and actively advocated for trauma-sensitive schools. After graduating from Lafayette College with a double major in Economics and Government & Law, Maria also interned with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Congressman Jamaal Bowman’s (NY-16) office. Additionally, she’s served as an Accelerate Fellow for Teach for America and a Policy and Research intern for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards in the past.
In the years to come, Maria aspires to keep closing opportunity gaps, actively legislating with a trauma-informed lens in all policy areas, and advocating for the collective healing of Black and Brown communities on a global landscape.