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Maria Leyva

Maria Leyva is the creator and managing director of New Citizens Voice, an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of UK new citizens and their families.

Maria is an entrepreneur with a passion for people and community relations and a track record of success matched only by her infectious enthusiasm and innovative style. Her vision is to create a citizenship centre and radio programme for UK new citizens and to see immigrants occupying seats in parliament, councils and as school governors.

In May 2009 Maria was elected to be Children and Families Representative on the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council with the support of representatives of social and charitable organisations working for children and young people in London. Her successful application is an affirmation of her vision, recognition of her achievements and reward for the effort she has put into developing herself and NCV.

About Maria

Maria has travelled widely and with over 20 years experience working in radio journalism and broadcasting she not only has an appreciation of how cultural differences affect peoples lives, but understands the importance of effective communication and can connect with people. She is perfectly placed to understand and guide others experiencing British life for the first time.

Her work has included the development of workshops for children, young people, families and senior citizens; workshops that engage people in the political process and also help participants become more confident, have stronger personal identity and greater self-esteem.

Maria has a BA in Global Politics and International Relations from the University of London.

"I am an entrepreneur who creates platforms where people can discover themselves and grow - I think people are too much alone or always within the same group. How can we connect if we do not see the other? My work is successful because we deal with people out-of-the-box, we bring the inside out rather than promote the illusion of what people call normal life - I feel that people today are forgetting about the only real things in life: love and truth to ourselves"


Maria Leyva

Maria Leyva

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