Maria Elena Hewett, MANM, grew up in West Hollywood, California. She works in operations in the field of supportive housing. Her recent experience with education is serving as a youth mentor at various art organizations and urban farms, supporting visual art, music, performance, and agriculture as a viable career choices for young people. She serves on the Young Professional Advisory Board for Los Angeles Music and Arts School in Boyle Heights and is active in the arts community. She has seen the transformative power of art and food as a way to explore alternatives to dominant narratives and create social change.