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People that “echo”-Maria Scholnick

For this New Year, Border Eco selected Maria Scholnick for our People that “Echo” in our community piece. Mrs. Scholnick was born in the northern part of the peninsula of Baja California Mexico. She was raised for the most part of her childhood in Hermosillo, Sonora Mexico. Her mother was a missionary and her father worked as a weather broadcaster for the government of Sonora until cancer claimed his life in 1998.  

She attended the college of nursing at the University of Sonora Mexico from 1976 to 1980. She worked as a nurse for 18 years. Her mother dedication to community service inspired her to work in the field. Maria Scholnick has been living in Arizona for over 32 years now.  She has been married to Jack Scholnick for 25 years and has two wonderful children, Mickey 23 years- old and Francine 16 years-old. Before she moved to Santa Cruz County with her family, between working as a nurse, she volunteered as a storyteller for few years at El Rio Community Pediatric clinic in Tucson, Arizona. She also helped her husband Jack with his antique and furniture store on 4th Street Avenue in Tucson.

In 2001, Maria later moved to Santa Cruz County with her family where she gave birth to her daughter Francine. The birth of her daughter Francine, who was born with Down syndrome opened up a whole new chapter in her life. This inspired her to form the Santa Cruz Parent Love Connection. New to Santa Cruz County Maria wanted to get involved in the community.

From 2010 through 2014, she joined two local non-profit organizations SEACAP and the Residents of Rio Rico where she served for two years as a committee program chair. “It was a wonderful learning experience for me. It helped me to learn about wonderful people and the needs of my community,” said Maria Scholnick.  

In 2010, she had an opportunity to be a part of the Partners in Policy Making Leadership and Advocacy Training Program sponsored by Pilot Parent of Southern Arizona. During that period of time, she had an opportunity to learn many skills and tools to help advocate for her daughter Francine and also for families raising children with special needs. At that time the Santa Cruz Parent Love Connection had already initiated. The advocacy training helped to solidify their mission as an organization.

In 2015, Maria was appointed to be a part of the DDD Arizona Human Rights Committee Board. “I am proud to say that Santa Cruz County has been a perfect community to help raise my daughter Francine. I am blessed and proud to be an active member of the community serving kids with special needs and their families,” said Maria Scholnick of the Santa Cruz Parent Love Connection

If you are a parent of a child with special needs and would like to join the SCPLC monthly coffee meetings every first Monday of the month in the playground equipment section at the McDonald’s on Mariposa Rd, in Nogales Arizona from 9 am to 10 am. For more information please send an email to or call (520) 470-5833.


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