Please join me in welcoming Maria Garcia she has been selected to serve as the Executive Director for the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska Head Start & Early Head Start. She is an enrolled member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and represents the Inkesabe (black shoulder) clan. Her parents are Phillip and Diana Garcia (Springer). She is a traditional dancer and has traveled to many celebrations to dance and experienced other tribal traditions and practices. She sings on the big drum and is a member of the Native American Church. 

She earned an Associate’s Degree in Science from Nebraska Indian Community College, Bachelor’s Degree in Business, and Master’s Degree in Business; both from Bellevue University. She earned Certificates from Oklahoma State University in Tribal Accounting and Finance and Harvard University Business School in Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities. In 2023 she was selected as an Honored Listee for the Marquis Who’s Who’s. 

She comes to the Tribe with vast experience in many fields. Her education has afforded her the opportunity to work for numerous organizations from colleges, casinos, non-profits, state government, and multiple tribes. She has written grant proposals and has been awarded millions of dollars for organizations that she have served throughout her career. Organizations have been able to develop new programs, offer incentives, develop Native American focused mental health programming, improve housing, provide COVID-19 prevention, and many other activities with funding awarded through proposals she developed. 

Maria is passionate about education. She had the opportunity to work at the collegiate level to lead the development of curriculum and syllabi to correlate with the Nebraska Transfer Initiative. The correlation involved identifying learning goals and objectives, course content, educational material, and course catalog numbering to match the state community colleges, which created a streamline of transferring credits. Included in this development were Early Childhood Education and Teacher Education Associate Degrees. This experience provided her with information about how early childhood learning is vital to the social and emotional development of children. Now she has come to a full circle and thoroughly enjoys working with our Umonhon Tribal communities’ children at the Head Start & Early Head Start to provide the support and education that is necessary for their successful transition to kindergarten.