Maria Montoya is Helping Connect Families to Essential Digital Devices
Maria Montoya serves as chair of Connect 313’s Devices and Connectivity Committee. She’s passionate about working with communities to ensure children and families have what they need to succeed.
“I have never met a parent who doesn’t want the best for their child or their family, but, more often than not, barriers exist to them being able to access their full ability to reach their dreams,” Maria said. “Sometimes that’s knowledge and other times it can be actual tools, such as a device.”
“I spent the first half of my career covering celebrities, children and families, and education as a features writer at USA Today and the Times-Picayune (New Orleans),” she shared. “I moved into education and advocacy work in 2008 when I left journalism to be part of a team of parents pushing for better access to public schools and childcare in New Orleans.”
That work ultimately led Maria to Detroit.
“I have lived here for seven years, and what I love about the city is very similar to what I love about New Orleans – the people. This city’s love and appreciation of its culture and history is evident, even among very young Detroiters,” Maria said.
At Connect 313, she’s working to close the digital divide by ensuring families with kids have the devices they need and stable, low cost or no cost Wi-Fi. She focuses on collaboration and efficiency to best serve the people of Detroit.
“Connect 313 is a community-centered initiative that anyone can get involved in and I truly believe what’s made it so remarkable is the fact that there is room at the table for everyone,” she said. “Part of the reason why our city is leading in closing the digital gap is because every voice is being included in the work. We should never stop pushing ourselves to make sure the community is at the heart of all the decisions we make.”