Hello! My name is Mariel and I have a insatiable passion for social justice and a love of graphic design.
I'd say that these two passions intermingled for the first time in 2007, when I embarked on an adventure as a Peace Corps Community Health Volunteer based out of Nicaragua. I was young, impressionable, but most importantly, with a stirring desire to be of service. During my professional background of working as a Community Health Peace Corps volunteer, I worked closely with women and youth of many backgrounds, cultures, ages, socio-economic statuses and abilities providing them sexual and reproductive health education. I also developed my design skills by creating print promotional materials, compiling health-related training manuals, presenting youths' voices in artwork, and working with a culturally and age-diverse audience.
Upon returning to the US, I continued to work in public health, and later as a Volunteer Program Manager at a rape crisis center. I gained insight into the importance of empathy and interpersonal communication from my work as a Volunteer Program Manager and Supportive Advocate at that job. While the bulk of my work was in direct service, I always sought opportunities to use visual mediums as an additional way to advocate for the people I served. At that job, my talents in graphic design translated into training manuals, community event promotional materials and social media campaigns.
My direct service work has informed my graphic design work over the years. I continue to seek out opportunities to use and cultivate my skills in graphic design by working with organizations that support important causes related to the empowerment of women and youth.