Maria Jenkins earned her undergraduate degree from Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky. She was the first student to graduate from the Teacher Education Program at Boyce and had the opportunity to work alongside the State Board of Education to develop the program entirely. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she spent one year teaching English in Bangkok, Thailand, where she learned to speak Thai and established an English curriculum for Sripatum University. She also spent one-semester backpacking in rural China to map villages for the International Mission Board.

Before college Maria spent her childhood, living in multiple countries around the world with her military family. She was homeschooled through high school and worked with her mother to develop her personalized education plan. Developing this plan sparked a passion for education in her from an early age.

Since graduating from Boyce, she has gained a variety of educational experiences. Before moving to Huntsville in 2016, she worked in Birmingham, teaching 6th grade at Chelsea Middle School and later as a behavioral specialist at Impact Family Counseling. At Impact, the student population usually included kids removed from the traditional classroom; Maria worked one-on-one with these high school students with the goal of preparing them to return to their previous school.

She now works for The Learning Team full-time. She recently completed her master’s degree in instructional technology from Troy University.