Martha E. Varela

Martha is an educator, community advocate and a social entrepreneur who has a passion for social justice and healthy youth development.  Originally from Zacatecas Mexico, Martha has focused more than fifteen years of her non-profit work experience in the inner city communities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Martha has worked as a youth counselor with Catholic Charities at the Hope Street Shelter for Youth where she facilitates career enrichment and life skill development programs.  Martha also owns and operates a small business, Martha’s Closet, where she provides low income families with good quality clothing at affordable prices. She has also worked for the Boys & Girls Clubs, St. Paul & Minneapolis Public Schools, Head Start and was a member of the United States Army, where she received an honorable discharge for her ten years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard.

Martha has developed and managed important leadership development programs, sexual and reproductive health programs, academic and career enrichment programs and life-skill development programs. Martha is also a youth basketball coach and has coached for the Minnesota State High School League, Parks & Recreation, Boys & Girls Club and her local Booster Athletic Club.  

Martha is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she independently designed, an interdepartmental Bachelor’s of Science degree, in Social Work, Youth Studies, and Multicultural Studies.