Changing Face of America: The Working Poor Author Debra Ginsberg introduces us to Maria Lopez of National City, California. Lopez is profiled as part of our series on The Changing Face of America. She's a mother of three who is on the cusp of escaping from state assistance, the result of determination, changes in the law and a two-year college education. When national welfare reform took place in 1996, the push in state's like California was to get people into any job. But Maria wanted to rise above poverty, so despite the odds, she got her high school equivalency degree, and enrolled in courses at a nearby junior college. Everyday is a struggle to keep from sinking into deeper poverty. But she has a feverish determination, a rosy outlook, and an ability to work the system. (14:00). The Changing Face of America series has a companion area on our Web site.