Maria Martinez Sanchez was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She attended New Mexico State University where she received a Bachelor’s of Social Work and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Government. After college Maria worked as a licensed social worker with the developmentally disabled population. She later attended the University of New Mexico School of Law. Prior to joining the ACLU, Maria served as a staff attorney for the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty for six years. Maria currently serves as the board president for Encuentro, an organization that engages Latino immigrant families in educational opportunities that build skills for economic and social justice.