Maria Iris Cieslarczyk is a starry-eyed dreamer who believes in redemption through love and magic. She was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Chicago with her family when she was 2 years old. She proudly identifies as Polish-Filipino American, and loves writing about the immigrant experience, as well as mental health, women empowerment, astrology, and self-love. Maria was first published for her essay "Play Ball! Women at bat during World War II" in the national Weekly Reader magazine when she was just 11. And she's been writing stories ever since. Her favourite part about writing is connecting with other people, and helping fellow underdog voices feel heard. Maria currently writes for HerCampus Magazine, Thought Catalog, and The Social Life. She also just started her new blog, Maria Unmasked.