Pennsylvania State Senator Maria Collett, BSN ’09, is dedicated to helping and advocating for communities.
As a former deputy attorney general in Camden County, New Jersey representing the interests of children victimized by abuse and neglect, then as a practicing nurse in a trauma unit in Austin, Texas, and now as a State Senator in Pennsylvania representing the 12th District across part of Bucks and Montgomery counties, Senator Maria Collett ’09 has been on the forefront of advocating for diverse and vulnerable populations.
After a successful career in law, Senator Collett decided to shift her professional path to become a nurse, with a focused commitment on communities. “It is knowing and wanting to be a helper,” she says. Working in a hospital trauma unit offered opportunities to advocate for patients and partner with healthcare teams in order to deliver the best care to every individual, which was at the heart of this role. This inclination and initiative paved the way for her current position as a State Senator. “The opportunity came to run for this senate seat, which was a great way to help my community.” She values her role in public service, coming to work each day with her constituents’ best interest in mind. “I am listening, and I am going to bring their concerns to the Senate, loud and clear, until we make strides to resolution. There is always a path in advocacy,” says Collett.
As a licensed nurse, Senator Collett has volunteered throughout the pandemic at vaccination clinics. She says, “the ability to put my scrubs back on and volunteer at vaccine clinics [was an effort] to help the community. …any vaccine clinic they let me come to, I went! I signed up and showed up. It was such an honor to earn that COVID volunteer t-shirt.” Throughout the last 18 months, Senator Collett has witnessed many remarkable acts of service, “when we see people in our community doing things to help, like people who are shopping for the elderly that cannot go shopping or visiting nursing homes with signs of support from outside. … I continue to be inspired by the generosity of those who give back.” Senator Collett is also “inspired every day by the people I serve with. I have an incredible team. We say, if you are not here to serve, you are not in the right place. We serve our community. It is what we are here to do.”