Mary Gaudio was born in west Phoenix, the youngest of four children, raised by a disabled, widowed mother. She graduated from Alhambra High School in 1984, and attended Arizona State University on a full tuition Regents’ scholarship, earning a Bachelor of Science in advertising,1988. She credits her mother, teachers, and public schools for changing the course of her life, empowering her to overcome adversity that far too many children face. In return, she has devoted much of her adult life in service to her community, working to enrich the lives of children and their families. She has worked as a K-8 substitute teacher and served as a PTA and booster club President in Plano and Allen, Texas public schools. She has been a mentor, advocate, and ambassador for nonprofit organizations, including Playworks of Arizona, New Pathways for Youth, American Cancer Society, and United MSD Foundation.mMary and her husband currently reside in Paradise Valley. Both are proud Arizona State University alumni. They have two young adult children, Alex and Maggie.