Maritza attended Occidental College where her double major in Politics and Urban and Environmental Policy provided the theoretical foundation for her advocacy work for underprivileged groups. At Occidental she organized day laborers as an extern for CHIRLA, collaborated with NGO’s in Oaxaca, and received an undergraduate research grant to analyze affordable housing policy in South LA.
At Southwestern Law School, Maritza was part of the LLSA board, a teacher assistant for the Legal Writing course and the Property course. Maritza also received two CALI awards in Property and Legal Professions, externed at Community Legal Services in Compton, and was a Federal Judicial extern to the Honorable S. James Otero. Additionally, she was part of the Youth Parole Board clinic, where she represented youth offenders in front of the parole board.
Maritza has received many honors for her extensive work, including the MABF scholarship, the MALDEF scholarship, and the Southwestern Public Interest Law Service Award. Before joining CHIRLA, Maritza worked for the Mexican Consulate where she did immigration work and managed intakes at their mobile consulate locations throughout Los Angeles County. Maritza plans to use her legal education to write policy that will address the issues of adversity that are still prevalent in her community.