Mari is a philanthropist, beauty enthusiast, digital marketing professional and content creator best known for her time on ABC's The Bachelor s25 and Bachelor in Paradise s7.
Mari is a proud Latina and is married to Kenny Braasch, whom she met and got engaged to on Bachelor in Paradise. They live in downtown Chicago with their two pups Monster (9) and Dice (1).
Mari is passionate about giving back and serving those in need. She has launched various philanthropic initiatives and enjoys working hand on with dozens of non-profit organizations including Best Buddies, Happy Helpers for the Homeless, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics and many more!
Some of her yearly holiday initiatives include distributing warm meals to the homeless on Thanksgiving, and blankets on Christmas Day, in addition to donating food, supplies and winter coats to local organizations.
Some of Mari's favorite things are:
- All things beauty
- Creating and cooking new recipes
- Dogs. All animals really, but definitely dogs!
- Traveling and learning about different cultures
- Learning new languages (even if it's just a few words!)
- Creating DIY projects and crafts
Mariela "Mari" Pepin was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1996. A few years later, her family began traveling the world due to her father's military career. After leaving their home island, Mari's family relocated to Germany, and traveled all over Europe. Her love of travel and appreciation for different cultures was engrained at a young age, apparent through her disposition and passion for learning new languages. In addition to Mari's native language being Spanish, she was introduced to American Sign Language in high school, and studied French through University. She continues to expand her vocabulary in each, with hopes to pick up a fifth language in the future.
Mari graduated from Towson University in 2018 with a Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Marketing while working as a marketing director for various small businesses in the Chicagoland area. Her marketing clients span industries from beauty & aesthetics, to restaurants and personalized gift sites.
Aside from her scholastic endeavors and professional career, Mari is extremely passionate about giving back, helping others and being involved in the community. Her parents instilled a passion for volunteering since she was a child. Mari has spearheaded numerous non-profit efforts in diverse sectors including women's health, children's initiatives, homelessness and veteran's affairs, among others. Mari has helped create and run various non-profit organizations like Moi Warriors, which helps women who have overcome medical obstacles, and the Make a Veteran Smile program, which provides free surgical procedures to veterans in need. She has also started her own initiatives for children of military families.
In addition to her philanthropic efforts, Mari has had a successful track in the beauty industry including pageant titles, modeling, and acting in a feature film. In 2013, Mari won her first-ever pageant, earning the title of Miss Maryland Teen USA while she was a freshman at Towson. She went on to compete at Miss Teen USA in the Bahamas, and subsequently began modeling with Click Models' Philadelphia and New York divisions.
In 2019, Mari won the title of Miss Maryland USA and competed at Miss USA, where she placed in the Top 10 finalists. Most recently, Mari represented her native Puerto Rico in the 50th edition of the Miss Intercontinental pageant celebrated in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt where she placed First Runner Up.