Maria Guzman is passionate about nutrition education and providing youth and adults with the resources to make healthy food choices. As a community outreach worker, she enjoys teaching participants new recipes and creative ways to prepare the food they usually purchase.
One of Maria's greatest thrills is when people tell her that they tried a new recipe or changed the way they prepare something because of what they learned in her class. Her most satisfying moments are when participants sign up for additional workshops because they value what she taught them and want to learn more.
Whether 1, 20, or 200 participants, Maria values the time people have taken from their schedules to attend her sessions and strives to make her workshops as engaging, informative, and beneficial as possible.
One of Guzman's favorite classes to teach is budgeting, and it brought her great joy to learn that one of her participants was able to apply the lessons they learned to guide their family through a challenging financial situation.
Guzman joined Extension in 2002 and has received the Robin Orr Spirit Award for exemplary work in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education programming. And the Team Award for helping the state office translate Illinois Nutrition Education Program materials and curricula into Spanish.