Maria was born in Komotini, Greece, and currently lives in Thessaloniki. She studied Education Sciences in Early Childhood (Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis). Since she was young she has been seriously concerned about environmental issues and how a good relationship with the natural world can be cultivated, and this is the reason she undertook postgraduate studies in Environmental Education (Aristotle University, Thessaloniki).
Maria has worked in the field of sociocultural education in many ways: from being a clown and teaching Braille to adults to being an educator in environmental NGOs. She is devoted to her vision: to raise awareness of plastic pollution and set the right example (she always carries her metal straw in her bag!). Maria seeks to inspire others to take action too!
In 2019, the START fellowship program gave her the chance to enrich her competencies and bring change to her hometown, following the motto “Think globally, act locally”. Her project Kookoonari (Greek for pinecone) is to transform a public school in Komotini into a Zero/Low Waste school by engaging not only the school but also the local community - for our ecological footprint can only be reduced through collective action! Maria is determined to make Kookoonari grow and help it flourish in more schools around Greece.