Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, Marissa and her family help feed the homeless, and they also donate clothes to the Salvation Army.
I know that other people are less fortunate than we are and its good to know youve helped somebody else, said, Marissa, a 13-year-old Berry College Middle School student.
She also helps out at school, where she works with kindergartners before assembly. She enjoys spending time with the youngsters.
The kindergartners really, really look up to you, she said. Theyre so excited to see us.
According to teachers and administrators, Marissa is setting a good example. She gets good grades, participates in multiple sports and loves to read and write.
She is especially proud of a story she wrote recently called Music in Action, a fantasy story about a world made of musical notes. The tale will be bound and presented at the schools upcoming Young Authors day.
Marissa said she enjoys writing because it allows her to express her feelings.
One of her teachers, Debbie Belvin, said Marissa is a gifted writer. Marissa is a very creative student, Belvin said. Shes an excellent writer and reads wonderfully.
Student teacher Mandi Harrington added, Shes very insightful and good about asking questions.
When shes not in school, Marissa enjoys sports a lot of sports. She plays basketball both for her school and at the YMCA; softball and tennis at the Rome-Floyd County Parks and Recreation Authority; track and cross country at Berry College Middle; and golf at Coosa Country Club.
Until recently, she also participated in gymnastics, which she said helped her prepare for other sports.
Marissa likes athletics because she enjoys staying active and meeting new people.
When she grows up, she wants to be either a lawyer (she loves to debate) or an orthodontist. Her reason for wanting a career working on teeth? She enjoys visits to the dentist.
Ive always liked going to the dentist, she said. Im interested in how they fix teeth.