MayaphotoMaya Rodriguez is the new Director of the Monument Community First 5 Center. Maya began working at the West County First 5 Center in 2008, and her experience with children and families influenced her decision to pursue a Masters in Human Development, from Columbia University. After graduating in 2012, Maya returned to Contra Costa County, eager to make a difference in her own community. Maya is thrilled to be working in Concord, the city she grew up in and calls home.

What food did you refuse to eat as a child?

Surprisingly, when I was a child I loved broccoli! I called them little trees. The food that I would leave behind on the plate was always meat. I think the texture was too rough for my baby teeth. Even though my mom made sure to cut it into small enough pieces, I felt that I had to chew it for too long, and it was always a struggle to finish.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

I have many favorite memories, but the thing they all have in common is the time and attention my mom was able to give me during my early childhood. She would take me on walks to park to feed the ducks, tell me stories of her upbringing in El Salvador, and was never afraid to be silly!

What is your favorite place or activity in Contra Costa County?

I love going to the Farmer’s Market at Todos Santos Park, especially during the summer when there are free concerts. I bring a blanket to enjoy the show, and get to take home fresh fruits, veggies, and sometimes a slice of pie.

What was your favorite children’s book?

It’s hard to pick just one book as my favorite. My mom always made story time fun by adding voices, changing the story, and then reading the book to me again in Spanish. A couple of my favorites were The Little House and Corduroy.

What would make Contra Costa a better place for young children?

I believe Contra Costa is a great place for children, and hope to start my family here soon. Contra Costa would be even better if all families could have access to affordable, high quality early education programs, as well as safe and clean parks in their community.