Mariel was born in Mexico, and moved to the United States at age 2. Growing up, Mariel has always spent time helping her parents and others in her community as a Spanish translator. Mariel graduated from Elizabethtown Area High School where she devoted her time volunteering with the Kiwanis Club, IU13 Classroom and was the captain of the Mini-THON committee. After graduating high school, Mariel started her education in Special and Early Education from Aurora University in Illinois. After college, she moved back to Pennsylvania, and has been advocating with different organizations on immigration rights. Mariel joins DEC as the Hispanic Independent Living Coordinator.