Read our Q+A with Wayside Family Services Case Manager Mariah, who also serves in Governor Tim Walz’s Young Women’s Cabinet.
Mariah Mirbel Nelson, Family Services Case Manager at Wayside Recovery Center, was named one of nine new appointments to the Young Women’s Cabinet in the Office of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan.
Comprised of 26 young women leaders from communities across the state, the Cabinet is part of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, a private-public partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota to achieve equity in opportunities and improve the lives of young Black, Indigenous and women of color; young women from Greater Minnesota; LGBQT+ youth; and young women with disabilities.
Mariah has served as a Family Services Case Manager at Wayside since 2021. Learn more about her work in the Q+A below:
What kind of work do you do at Wayside and with families in the community?
At Wayside, I work with families in our Supportive Housing. I am really lucky to be able to walk along side them as they do life in recovery. Every day looks different whether its meeting with teachers and social workers at the St. Louis Park Schools, taking the kids on field trips or meeting one on one with the moms to set goals, gain access to services for themselves or their kids.
In the community, I volunteer in North Minneapolis with Sanctuary Covenant Church by teaching in their Birth-5 grade programming. While COVID has impacted our time, I am excited to be back in the 5-year-old classroom soon. I am really grateful to be a part of the St. Louis Park Family Services Collaborative Board which focuses on the social, emotional, educational and economic needs of children and families in St. Louis Park.
What motivates you to support women, children and families at Wayside and beyond?
My values keep me in this work. I believe that kids deserve the best that the world has to offer. I want to be a part of giving them that. They are resilient, kind, loving, creative and so much more. And they come to us in the context of families that has a ripple effect. Healthy moms’ equal healthy families. We all benefit when moms and children thrive.
I believe that kids deserve the best the world has to offer. I want to be a part of giving them that.
What are you looking forward to accomplishing through your role in the Young Women’s Cabinet?
I am hoping that I will experience and grow in meaningful connections, leadership development and advocacy skills as we pursue racial and gender justice. More specifically, a lot of my time will be spent pursuing my two leadership tracks, Grantmaking Committee with the Women’s Foundation and Community Engagement with the YWCA.
What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with my puppy, Nala going on walks and hanging out. I will never turn down a Target run and time with my community of people. An evening spent reading a book about a topic I am passionate about or watching a tv show/movie is a good evening in my opinion.