Maria Saucedo was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico,
April 23, 1954. Maria attended schools in Mexico and in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated
with honors from Northeastern Illinois University in 1975. Her bilingual-bicultural
experiences provided her with a keen sense of understanding for those parents and children
in the Pilsen community with similar backgrounds.
Maria's life was one of passion and commitment at it's
fullest, whether as a teacher, student, or community person. Maria taught English as a Second Language at the Pickard School, dedicating herself to providing her students
with the necessary tools to survive the vigor of the Chicago environment. Her advocacy on
behalf of the students and parents in the Pilsen school community were indicative of her
heartfelt desire to help her beloved people live a richer, happier, and more integrated
life. In short, she had a commitment to learning that she approached with zeal.
Although she loved the classroom, Maria's extra-curricular
achievements were many and varied: she wrote poetry and participated in drama productions
with "Compania la Pared."
As a student at Northeastern Illinois University, Maria's
interest in both academic and social issues provided the impetus for founding the university's Chicano Student Union and helping
write its Constitution. The Union was
instrumental in encouraging Hispanic professors and counselors to join the staff of the
Maria's commitment to Casa Atzlan, Mujeres Latinas, and
other community organizations provided yet another channel for her desire to communicate and to
advocate social changes. Maria indeed lived a life in which she sought to educate and be
Maria was abruptly taken from us at the age of 27,
on November 12, 1981, when she died from injuries sustained in a fire. She is survived by
her husband, Filberto Ramirez; a son, Albizu Emiliano; her parents, Juan and Maria; and
seven brothers and sisters: Juanita, Sylvia, Juan Jr., Jose, Fernando, Alicia and Teresa.