Together We…Light the Way

Maria Cuevas is the Site Coordinator at Maxson Elementary School in our Santa Fe Springs region. She has been a part of the Think Together team for the last seven years, and in that time has proven herself to be a kind and reliable leader who has a passion to change the odds for kids and helping combat the learning loss students are facing due to the pandemic. We are excited for you to hear a bit of her story today.

What’s your “why” for working at Think Together?
At a very young age, I was given a lot of responsibilities. Being the oldest in a Spanish-speaking household with two working parents, I took care of my little sisters, helped with homework, and on many occasions, I translated for my parents. My “why” is being the support system for the families in my community so our students don’t have to grow up too quickly like I did.

How do you feel that Think Together is benefitting your community?
It’s giving parents that peace of mind as they make a living to support their families. It’s giving students a safe place to learn and the support to be the best they can be.

Do you have a brief story about when you felt most connected to Think Together’s mission?
I think every day is a story that helps us connect with our mission. That “Ms. Maria, I get it now” that “I got a perfect score on my spelling test” or that “I’m proud I made it to gold today!” All of those show the work we do matters.

As we are headed into the new year, can you share with us one success you had at Think Together in 2021?
I ran the first back in-person program for our region. We, as a team, overcame the fear of being back in person, the fear of COVID, and of being the FIRST back. And we rocked it!

What was one obstacle you and your team overcame in 2021?
COVID! Just making sure we’re as safe as we could be. We built a system and followed it and now that anxiety of being exposed is way down.

What are you hoping to accomplish in your work at Think Together in 2022?
I want to continue being that safe place for my students. I want to support my team in supporting our students to help with their learning loss (which is greater than it has ever been because of everything they lost while we shut down.)

What is one area professionally that you want to grow in 2022?
After getting over my fear of public speaking this year, I have learned that I really enjoy facilitating training sessions. I would like to get the chance to do that more often.

Maria, thank you for lighting the way for students and changing the odds for kids! We are grateful to have so many staff members who are passionate in our mission and who are actively making a difference in the communities we serve. 

Happy Holidays and see you in 2022 with more inspirational stories!