Please introduce yourself and your business to our community.
Hey Hey, my name is Marissa Williamson from the Bootheel area of Missouri and the rest will come to you. I’m a 29-year-old Taurus with a compassionate soul and tenacious spirit who enjoys working and meeting like-minded individuals. I am one of two Chief Executive Directors/Owners/Founders of a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization known as MoXie Way Incorporated with my best friend of 25 years.
MoXie Way Inc. is a consulting academy focused on youth education and individualized skills. Our mission is to provide a safe environment for youth through leadership programs that help them to learn, grow, and inspire others. Our targeted participants include toddlers one to three years of age, incoming fifth-graders to twelfth grade, incoming freshmen to juniors in college, and their families. We are open to providing consulting services to any family with children/adolescents between the ages of one through twenty.
At what point in your life did you realize your passion?
I always knew I wanted to work with children. My experience from various jobs working with youth & adolescents served as a stepping stone to how MoXie Way, Inc. was developed. I was working as a substitute teacher, which was not in my field of study. I was continuously called back and praised for my teaching style with students who displayed deviant behaviors in the classroom. I quickly landed a full-time position as behavioral aid. As time passed I found a sense of fulfillment in identifying behaviors. This included building rapport to create a solution for my students to learn and grow within themselves making them more effective in the classroom.
With that being said I am an individual who is passionate about inspiring the youth/adolescents to identify with their inner moxie. I am a youth/adolescent advocate for those who want to see a decline in negative youth/adolescent behaviors towards self, future self, and others. So, it was the transitional phase of the classroom for me in 2015 when I realized my passion needed to be my career with the knowledge I obtained throughout the years.
What did you learn about yourself in 2020?
2020 was a reality check for me. Going into 2020 I had been working three jobs six days a week on a rotation schedule for three years. By April due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I was down to one. My planner was blank with nowhere be. I had all this time to myself I never had before, leaving my mind and body confused about what was happening. It was a strange mindset to be in while experiencing the lockdown of America. So with that, I learned the importance of expressing my truths behind the narrative of what was going on and creating a more healthy relationship with myself. Ultimately, I was determined to grow my own fruits by cultivating my mind.
What do you attribute to your success in life and business?
I attribute my success to relentlessly being ambitious and cultivating a growth mindset. My child-rearing years included many life lessons that I value due to sometimes I wasn’t on my P’s & Q’s. With MoXie Way, Inc. we have created something of real value that improves the lives of others especially youth/adolescents. With MoXie Way Inc regarding, our inner MoXie it serves as an essence of immense power based on faith and strengthening other’s personal cognitive learning styles
It is important for us to nurture a community of black women that share, learn, and thrive together. Please share a story of failure that taught you a valuable lesson.
After graduating I found myself struggling to figure out my direction. Continuing my college career or finding a job that I could move up in the business and eventually retire at. After filling out several applications I did not have any luck landing a good job and well-paying job. After months, I received an email regarding a state job, I was so excited. The job seemed promising and a great opportunity for me to grow. Once I completed the interview I felt I totally rocked it. On my way out I said my goodbyes, and thank yous. The door wasn’t even closed for 15 seconds before I overheard them talking amongst themselves stating that was a waste of their time with no explanation. I was so hurt. This experience taught me that failure is an uncomfortable part of life that we all must experience. However, it is our duty to not let our failures define us.
Please let us know the woman you were 5 years ago and who you’re becoming?
Five years ago I was in a space where I thought I was doing good for my relationship and friends by keeping quiet about things. In reality, what I should have been doing was using my voice to express how I felt. I was constantly reminded of not being a mother and always asked when I was getting married. My response was always “in due time” with a smile on my face, but in my mind not understanding why it meant so much to others. Resulting in me keeping things bottled things up and it led me to a place where I didn’t value my self-worth outside of the workplace. So I buried myself in work and meaningless “situationships” to try to fill the voids. I gradually found my niche when I started to “Stay True to Thy Own Self” and became more goal-oriented about my future plans. Looking back, my life experience taught me the importance of advocacy and the ability to value social differences within my peers, family, and while networking. Overall, I now know I can do and be anything I dream of regardless of how “fairytale” it may seem.
What women in your life have been a source of inspiration?
Growing up I had a mentor by the name of Candice Cox. She taught me the ins and outs of what this world could offer you if you planted the right seeds. She called me out on the ways I projected myself onto others and how to be more mindful of the situations I put myself in. Overall, she took the time to understand me, which was something most people did not dare to do.
All the women in my family, all displayed a sense of security within themselves that never deterred them from their own personal missions. They all displayed “That secure bag and leave type of hustle’ in’em”. Truly making me thankful for their presence in my life growing up. By implementing me to push harder for whatever I wanted to achieve.
Gabrielle Union showed me that you can achieve anything you want in this world regarding any form of adversity. Her personality is big, bold, and unapologetic. She shared with the world her struggles while staying true to her passion and it helped me adapt to a world that seemed like there was no place for me.
Celebrate your wins! Brag, sis. What are you most proud of?
MoXie Way, Inc: The Way WE chose to associate ourselves.
Things have been moving fast and my best friend/ business partner and I have been manifesting this non-profit organization for a long time. Once we found a way to live in the same city again, we immediately planned to make it happen. Now, four years later I’m working with my best friend experiencing our dreams and living out our BOSS LIVES. It is a blessing within itself because we see the bigger picture and it’s bigger than both of us combined. We continuously learn new things from professional development training to actively volunteering within our communities. We enjoy finding new ways to apply them in efforts to show our communities something effective to be proud of when it comes to the youth of tomorrow. We truly believed in ourselves by putting in the unpaid work hours and see how now we’ve come thus far. ONWARDS & UPWARDS.
Quoting Audre Lorde, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Please share your self-care routine.
A motto I have adapted to repeat to myself daily is “Just Breathe”. This includes taking time out of the day to focus on mindful breathing, making it an ultimate form of self-care. I enjoy going to the river to “just breathe”. I enjoy quiet time to myself to “just breathe”. I enjoy calling a close friend or family to “just breathe”. By doing this, I’m reassuring myself that everything will be alright. Also, I am learning not to take things personally. Realizing that some may choose to believe, but I knew one day I would surpass it. Remembering I never came across as if I had all the answers, I just learned how to embody my powerful decision-making skills that played its up and downs. I knew one day I would find my avenue to thrive in making it easier for me to incorporate a reassuring self-care routine, and that I have. By enjoying myself and the positive vibes I give to others.
You are part of our melanin muse tribe. How can we help you on your journey?
I have always been surrounded by people who were willing to help make a difference in society; which has inspired me to adopt the same qualities as a person. With that being said the melanin muse mission correlates with ours by creating these safe spaces for the women and children of our communities. The Melanin Muse Tribe can help by continuing to seek out like-minded individuals to continue this marathon of promoting bold Black Women. Avenues like this help us tell our stories and show that we are no longer standing in the back. Instead, we are speaking up and speaking out by taking back what is ours and encouraging ourselves to grow while patting our SISTA ON ON THE BACK FOR A JOB WELL DOWN!