My name is Maria Filippone, I was born October 11, 1971, and grew up in Webster City, Iowa. My mother is from Northwestern Iowa, and is of Swedish ancestry and my father is an immigrant from Columbia, South America. His father was an immigrant to Columbia from Lebanon, so my Dad is half Arab and half Colombian.
Having an immigrant father in a small town caused some backlash. My father also made a comfortable living which probably played a role in how we were viewed within our community even though we lived beneath our means. My father is a surgeon, and he worked a ton throughout my childhood so my mother was basically like a single mom. My mother did a good job, she did her best raising me and my three sisters.