Upward Bound Projects

Maria Moreno


A Quote That You Like/Live By?

"The end of all education should surely be service to others."

- Cesar Chavez

Who I Am

I am the first in my family to be born in the United States. My parents migrated from Mexico, for the same reason every other immigrant comes to this country, a better opportunity for their family. I have tremendous admiration and respect for my parents because they were able to build so much with very little. Their requirement that we work alongside them every summer and fall in the prune, walnut and peach orchards were in fact life lessons that have shaped my work ethic today. I have two sisters, who I miss terribly because they live in L.A. and the Bay Area, but we still talk on a daily basis. I'm fortunate that my brother lives in Chico, so we see each other quite a bit. I met my husband Luis in college and we married in 2003. We now have two BEAUTIFUL children, Gabriela is a year old and Cesar Antonio is four. They're our greatest joy and the reason for everything we do. I grew up in Gridley and moved to Chico in 1993 to attend school. After graduating from Chico State in 1998 with degrees in Spanish and Latin American Studies, I began to work for Migrant Head Start. Advocating for migrant families was extremely rewarding, since that was the first preschool I attended as a child. I joined Upward Bound in 2001 as the Academic Coordinator. I joke that I've held about every position in UB, because I started as a student, then as a student worker and task team supervisor while attending college and professionally I've held the position of Academic Coordinator, Program Coordinator, Assistant Director and now Director.

My Interests

I absolutely love spending time with my family. You can find us bike riding, hanging out at the park or playing soccer, baseball or basketball. I'm also very close to my sisters, so when they come up to visit we spend as much time together as possible (usually shopping). Cooking and baking are also hobbies of mine. There's nothing more relaxing to me than turning up my jazz music and experimenting with a new recipe. I've also recently become a bunco addict and look forward to my monthly get-togethers with my friends.

Why Upward Bound Is Important To Me

Upward Bound is not just a job to me, it has been and still is a significant part of my life. As a 10th grade student at Gridley High School with no real plan of attending college, Upward Bound came in and shaped a new path for me. I strive to give that same opportunity to as many students as possible. I truly believe that if you help educate one person, you in fact change an entire family and community. Our UB students are amazingly talented and just need information, additional skills and guidance in order to make the right decisions about college. The most rewarding aspect of my job is to see our UB alumni come back to visit as professionals, but never forgetting their Upward Bound roots.

If you would like to write me, my email address is MTMoreno@csuchico.edu.