Grand Marshal - 2016
MARIA Z. CARVALHO, also known as “Xana” was born in Lisbon and immigrated to Elizabeth, NJ, from Portugal with her parents, at a very young age. Having settled in Elizabeth, where she has lived ever since arriving in this country.
Maria attended St. Anthony School and graduated from Elizabeth High School in 1990. After graduating she attended Union County College and Rutgers Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Service.
She has been employed by the City of Elizabeth for over 25 years, where she currently holds the positon of Executive Assistant do Bureau of Construction and Zoning Department of Planning and Community Development.
Maria has been married to Carlos Carvalho for over 20 years and has two wonderful sons, Brian and Dylan. Over the years, Maria has become a true asset to the community, in addition being a devoted wife, mother, sister, friend, and a working professional she dedicates endless hours to our community. Maria’s involvement has led her to hold various high positions within different organizations that represent the all sectors of our community.
Maria is currently Vice President of the Elizabeth Youth Soccer Club an organization where she has volunteered for over 15 years. Maria has played a fundamental role in the growth of the Elizabeth Youth Soccer Club, which currently has 18 teams and approximately 400 players, between travel and recreation.
One of Maria’s greatest passions is the Portuguese Instructive Social Club and their youth. In addition to being the Sport Director at PISC, she dedicates endless hours to work with the youth groups, Nova Juniors and Nova Mocidade. Maria works relentlessly with these children and young adults on various projects, initiatives that promote our culture and heritage. Due to Maria’s vision and dedication to PISC, it has its own Greenhouse, in which the children are responsible for its maintenance.
Maria is currently Vice President of Portugal Day Committee. Maria also serves on the Board of Directors for Groundworks of Elizabeth. Maria is also a Board of Director for the Elizabeth Portuguese Lions Club.
Two years ago, Maria took her love and passion for the youth of Elizabeth to a higher level, currently serving as Vice President of the Elizabeth Board of Education. Not only does she dedicate herself to the children of the Portuguese Community, she now represents and is a voice for all the children that attend the Elizabeth public school system.Maria Z. Carvalho is passionate about her love for our community and the youth of this city. Maria treats each child she comes into contact as her own, whether it is with a hug, kind words or with showing them the right path, she is always there for them. Maria is a true inspiration to all those that know her, she is a selfless person that always puts community before herself. Her work with all youth groups in the city is tireless in energy.
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