Marissa Davis

She is simply an individual who dreamed big

    If Marissa Davis was told two and a half years ago that she would create an organization dedicated to directly serving and raising awareness  about post-Katrina New Orleans, she would not have believed you. 

    Marissa began her efforts with New Orleans about two days after Katrina when she decided that she was not going to be another person to sit down and let injustice pass by un-addressed and unnoticed. She first began as the Swarthmore Direct Relief Committee Chair, planning numerous trips to New Orleans with students from my school. Over the course of each semester, her passion for justice and love for New Orleans grew and became increasingly determined to make sustainable change. She then moved to dedicating her entire summer as a Dean for a summer camp in New Orleans. 

    Working with New Orleans youth left such an impact on her that she felt a responsibility to develop an initiative focused on working specifically with the youth. Upon her return from studying abroad in Spain, she planned another Spring Break trip to New Orleans, this time to the Cutoff Community Center, where she first began her efforts with the Cutoff community.  A successful week-long program, consisting of tutoring each afternoon, arts and crafts workshops, and dance classes, inspired her to develop the Cutoff Youth Library Project. This past summer, the Cutoff Youth Library became a reality after months of planning and a month of creating. This self-managed  900+ youth library is  now a central part of the community center where the youth are able to engage their minds and envision a future of success. 

    Today Marissa is determined to make my passion contagious and is determined to inspire others, particularly young people, to join her in an effort to help rebuild New Orleans!