Maria Carter grew up in a small town in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated from Reed College in Portland, Ore. with a degree in economics. After a year off, she returned to her home state to study journalism at the University of Missouri, receiving her Master’s degree in 2004.
Maria started working at KCUR as an intern and was later hired as a general assignment reporter, covering local politics and anything else happening in the Kansas City area. In 2006, she spent a month in northern Louisiana, lending a hand at the local public radio station and covering the thousands of evacuees temporarily in the area. She was KCUR's morning newscaster for six years before becoming news director in 2014.