Maria Cerio is a sophomore in the Columbian College at The George Washington University, with an interest in organizational sciences and public health.
Maria grew up in the Boston area, where she was very involved in her community and high school. Throughout her high school career, she participated in the Best Buddies club, which facilitates friendships between students with disabilities and those without. Initially, Maria was co-event planner and was later elected co-president. During her tenure with Best Buddies, she shared her passion for horseback riding by organizing the first therapeutic riding event. Maria also worked as a mentor for the Special Needs Athletic Partnership, guiding students with intellectual, cognitive, and physical disabilities through recreational activities. In addition to her work with the disabled community, Maria regularly served the local food pantry and assisted living facility. Her public service extended to populations facing housing challenges, through two internships with the Chattanooga Housing Authority. Maria also enjoyed her roles as section leader of her high school’s orchestral chamber ensemble as a violinist and co-captain of the math team.
Upon arriving at GW, Maria participated in the Community Building Community program, completing a range of community service projects. She currently volunteers as a DSS note-taker. Maria remains dedicated to Best Buddies as an active participant in GW’s chapter. Most recently, Maria joined forces with Broad Futures’ Millennial Focus Group, whose mission is to increase disability accessibility in the workforce. Specifically, the group is working to create a set of accessible e-learning modules to assist Millennials with disabilities successfully transition from college to employment.
Maria has a long-term goal of increasing disability inclusivity and advocacy on GW’s campus, and she hopes to accomplish this through her position on the DSS Speakers Bureau. She also aims to start a new student organization with a similarly aligned mission. In April 2017, Maria published the post "I Was Just Looking at Your Eyes" on the official blog of The Transverse Myelitis Association.