Mariel battled with alcohol and drug addiction, bipolar disorder and bulimia nervosa 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.
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 a full continuum of care for addiction – including most importantly, recovery support services. She is driven by a deep desire for all people to be able to access and maintain recovery regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation or criminal record.
Mariel graduated with summa cum laude with distinction (4.0 GPA) with her Masters of Arts in Public Administration from Kean University in Linden, NJ. Mariel attributes much of her personal and professional success to returning to school and believes that education is indeed the great equalizer. Prior to Ammon, she 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). Mariel sits on numerous boards and coalition, has been recognized locally and nationally with numerous awards, featured in countless media outlets; and is recognized nationally as a dynamic and passionate advocate, servant leader, trainer and motivational speaker.
During her spare time she can be found traveling, practicing yoga, outside hiking, running, biking or kayaking, drinking coffee, cooking and spending time with her husband Anthony and their pups, Bentley & Eleanor.