Maria Fernanda Manjarrez
Student Representative Governor Appointee
Maria Fernanda Manjarrez, a graduate from Temple City High School, is a first-generation college student enrolled in the University of Southern California. Maria has always been a diversity advocate and brought her vision of a more inclusive classroom environment into fruition by founding and presiding over the RAMS World Culture’s Club. She was a trained Peer Listener, where she served to enhance emotional and psychological well-being to faculty and students and was selected to serve as a Head Student Coordinator for Every Fifteen Minutes, a drunk driving prevention program.
After graduating from high school, Maria attended Pasadena City College where she was a member of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society and interned with Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure political and economic parity for Latinas. After one year at Pasadena City College, Maria proudly transferred to her dream school, the University of Southern California. She automatically became politically involved on campus as an Unruh Associate, a student-run organization which promotes political diversity and civil debates across all ends of the political spectrum.
Maria partnered with the USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, the Skid Row Housing Trust, and her colleagues to research capacity-building strategies by looking into national case studies and make policy recommendations for how Los Angeles should structure its response to the permeating issue that is homelessness. She further explored her passions about public service by serving constituents in the 33rd District as a Congressional Intern for Congressman Ted W. Lieu. Manjarrez enjoyed her time serving constituents with casework and with the logistics of the annual Congressional Art Competition and Service Academy Day.
Maria travelled to Sacramento last Spring to advocate for Cal Grants and is very appreciative of the financial resources the State of California and USC has given her to seek the educational opportunities she could have only dreamed of. Maria is thrilled to pay it forward and be a part of a commission whose mission is to make education beyond high school financially accessible to all Californians.