Marlene was raised in Sunnyside, Washington - a small town in south central Washington with a large Latinx population. They grew up surrounded in their Mexican culture until they moved to Seattle in 2010 to study at the University of Washington Bothell. Seattle was a complete culture shock for Marlene. In their attempts to create community, Marlene became part of Latinx centered initiatives like La Voz de E.L.L.A, a peer mentoring group for Latinas. Upon graduation, Marlene continued their service to the Latinx community as the advisor for Latinx Student Union. It is their passion for serving the Latinx community that brought them to Hispanic Access Foundation in January 2019. As Programs Associate for the MANO Project, Marlene supports the management of interns. They work alongside Michelle and Rodrigo to create career opportunities for young Latinx professionals.