Maria Palaroan
San Francisco Bay Area
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Maria Palaroan

College Affordability Succeed Advisor

Maria is a Bay Area College Affordability Succeed Advisor and works closely with college students across various college campuses--including Community Colleges, CSUs, UCs and more--to see what options students have to make college more affordable and sustainable in the long run. This can include discussing different loan options, scholarship opportunities, or reviewing financial aid offers and appeals together. Maria has done a lot of work in the educational/nonprofit sector prior to her role at uAspire, including working with youth in various youth mentorships in Richmond and Oakland, facilitating and cultivating numerous workshops on educational access and political advocacy, and most recently, serving as the Program Adminstrator for Al Wooten Jr. Youth Center in South Central LA through the Americorps Program, Public Allies Los Angeles. Maria graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Sociology and minor in Education after transferring from Berkeley City College. Maria was born and raised in Long Beach, California.

Why uAspire?

I chose to work at uAspire because I really resonated with its mission of supporting students throughout the financial aid process. As a first generation college student and student of color, I know firsthand that navigating the financial aid system is always stressful, and can feel really overwhelming and isolating. Hopefully in this role, I am able to show students that their concerns are being heard and that they aren't alone in this process. I hope to serve students to the best of my abilities, to make sure that this aspect of their college life is one less stressor they have to think about. In the process, I also hope to create lasting relationships with the students I work with so that they know that I am a resource they can always turn to.