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Meet Marica Mitchell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marica Mitchell.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
During my last year at Florida A&M University, I decided to take Education electives to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems. Little did I know, that those courses were preparing me for a second career; an educator and change maker. I was super stoked about receiving my first degree on December 17, 1999, and was ready to venture into the world and work as an Information Technology (IT) professional. I had received a few job offers before graduation in IT and just wanted to land a career where I would travel and see the world and was convinced that I would pursue a leadership career in technology.

I worked in Technology for a few years and landed a great position at Motorola that allowed me to travel, learn the art of marketing combined with technology. Working at Motorola was one of the best jobs I have ever had as I learned from so many talented engineers and marketing gurus. I was always challenged and my manager at the time Fabio Vazquez, pushed me beyond my comfort zone. I truly enjoyed working in Corporate America until I got married and had my first child. When my position as a System Support Manager required me to travel and leave home at least once a month due to a few changes within the organization, I knew I needed to find a new position or switch careers.

I started my Master’s degree in Education while working at Motorola as I always had a passion for Education. I knew my manager at the time would have wanted me to pursue a Masters in Business or Engineering but I knew deep within my soul that I wanted to pursue a long term career in Education. While working at Motorola, I worked part-time at both Miami Dade and Broward College and truly enjoyed every moment of teaching Math and Computer classes. When it was announced that the Motorola Plantation office was downsizing, I decided to start looking for a full-time career in Education. I was blessed to have found a position with Miami Dade County Public schools in the IT department the week after I was laid off.

My position in IT at Miami Dade County Public School lasted a few months after a major shakeup. To my surprise, finding out that I was pregnant with my second child while going through a separation had me in disarray not knowing how I would manage with 2 children under 2 years old. I contacted the HR personnel and discussed the process to transition to the classroom and pursue a career as a Math educator. I knew with the family changes and the struggles I was facing with my divorce, teaching was a better career choice for my children.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been 10 years since I started this journey in Education and I absolutely have NO regrets. My son Aiden and daughter Arielle have played an integral role in me staying the path. My best memory to date in the field of Education is working under the leadership of Dr. Dillard, a compassionate leader, and principal who was very understanding. She was flexible, nurturing and understood the demands of a single mother. I give her credit to this day for my desires each day to be a better mother and educator when I walk the hallways or share my story with my students. I wanted to quit teaching so many times because of the dynamics when working with Middle School students but Dr. Dillard saw how passionate I am when I enter the classroom. She sat me down on several occasions and shared her own experiences in the field to encourage me to stay the course.

I have ventured into so many areas of teaching over the past 8 which included running my own summer Math Academy, reviewed textbooks, and even wrote math curriculum for the district. I have mentored students through the FIU Educational Talent Search afterschool programs and have watched some of my challenging students evolve and grow. Many of my students are now in college due to the guidance, mentorship, and support they received from.

Even though education has its ups and downs, I would not trade a day in the classroom for anything in this world. I have a purpose to change lives and I will continue to do so one student at a time. The feeling and the satisfaction I receive when I see a former student whose life has been impacted because of sharing my story brings me so much joy. This year, for the first time in my teaching career, I am teaching elective courses to uplift and empower young girls and boys through my creative outlet sewing and crafting and not just Math. I am excited about the 2019-2020 school year and can’t wait to see what God has in store.

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