Mariel battled with alcohol & drug addiction, bipolar disorder and bulimia nervosa for all of her teenage years – leaving her bankrupt emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually. Mariel is formerly incarcerated, a convicted felon, formerly homeless and a sex trafficking survivor. Mariel entered recovery in May 2007 and has maintained abstinence-based recovery since then.
Since 2012 in an effort to bring a face and a voice to recovery – as well as demand the civil rights of those who suffer, those who have lost their battle and those in recovery – Mariel has immersed herself wholeheartedly in mental health, addiction and criminal justice reform work. Mariel believes in health equity, person-centered systems of care and the importance of recovery support services. Mariel graduated Kean University summa cum laude with her Bachelors of Arts in Public Administration and is currently seeking her Masters of Arts in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management. Mariel attributes much of her personal and professional success to returning to school, and believes that education is the great equalizer. Mariel has previously worked as an Advocacy Organizer with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – New Jersey (NCADD-NJ) and as the National Chapter Manager for Young People in Recovery (YPR). Additionally, Mariel has been recognized locally and nationally with numerous awards and featured in countless media outlets; and is recognized nationally as a dynamic and passionate advocate, servant leader, trainer and motivational speaker.
She is driven by her deep desire for all people to be able to access and maintain recovery regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation or criminal record. Mariel is also a certified yoga teacher and a marathon runner; and during her spare time can be found traveling, drinking black coffee, or laughing and snuggling with her amazing husband Anthony.