Maria Vertkin is an immigrant from Russia and an MFA candidate in creative nonfiction at Washington University in St Louis. Her writing explores her Chavásh and Jewish lineage, migration, erasure, colonization, ancestral/transmitted treasures and traumas, and plurality of identity. She also enjoys writing fairytales for grownups! Prior to attending Washington University, Maria spent fifteen years in the nonprofit sector, including eleven as the founder and Executive Director of Found in Translation, a Boston-based nonprofit organization with the dual mission of creating economic mobility opportunities for multilingual immigrant women and reducing racial and linguistic disparities in healthcare. Maria is an Echoing Green Fellow, Vital Voices Fellow, Grinnell Prize winner, WeWork Creator Award recipient, and Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Regis College.