Born in Rio de Janeiro, María Cecilia chose to be a teacher before entering high school. She graduated in Psychology in PUC Rio de Janeiro. In Rio, she taught in private schools but the job that impacted her most was a research in a kindergardens in Rocinha, the largest slum in Rio. During those two years in Rocinha, Maria experienced the injustice caused by social and economic inequality. Moved to SP in 2001 starting a postgrad in literacy.When Maria Cecilia met Madalena Freire, she fell in love with her methodology. In 2003, she created Pro-Saber SP in Paraisópolis community. Since then she works daily to put into action Mario Quintana’s verses: "Democracy is to give everyone the same starting point." Maria is married for 21 years and has three children.