Mal grew up in the Western Suburbs of Chicago, currently residing in Albany Park. They started their educational career at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as a Theatre Studies major. Mal graduated in August 2018 from Northeastern Illinois University with a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. They focused their studies at NEIU in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies.
Mal's first year serving Y.O.U. taught them so much about how they fit within the organization and the greater community. Their accomplishments range from co-writing and co-facilitating a curriculum based on Harry Potter to building memorable relationships with youth. They value the way Y.O.U. centers youth voice with social-emotional learning all through a trauma-informed lens. In their second term, Mal hopes to continue to write curricula with all of those things in mind. As bell hooks said, "If we give our children sound self-love, they will be able to deal with whatever life puts before them."
Outside of work, Mal participates in community organizing that challenges our oppressors by dismantling the systems those oppressors put in place. They also enjoy cooking and reading while laying in their hammock. Mal would not be the person they are today without the support, love, validation, and affirmation from their chosen family.