Mariel Charles

  • Bachelors Degree, Duke University
  • Major: Public Policy Studies
  • Current Employment: New York Fellow, CORO Leadership Center

“The College Access Center was pivotal in providing me with the resources to navigate the often intimidating college admissions process. As a first generation college applicant, I felt supported in understanding my options, defining my goals, and knowing how to reach them. Its services made it possible for me to afford to apply to college, and for that I am forever grateful.”

While at Duke, Mariel dedicated much of her time cultivating culturally responsive spaces that fostered the development and growth of Duke’s undergraduate students of color. She worked at Duke’s Center for Multicultural Affairs, and was highly involved with the Common Ground retreat, an experience meant to promote dialogue and discourse among the university’s diverse student body. Inspired by the power of the community of women she experienced at CHS, Mariel also helped charter the Zeta Mu chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority, Inc., the first and largest Latina academic sorority in the nation.

After college, Mariel took her passions for culturally responsive spaces to the classroom, where she taught 7th grade Language Arts and Law Studies and learned patience, understanding, and adaptability from her students. She is excited to return and relearn NYC as a Coro Fellow, as she continues working towards her vision of creating education and housing policy reform on a local scale. Mariel is a proud native of the South Bronx, and is a self-described foodie, bookworm, and lover of all things “zen”.