Marissa B.

“Sometimes, we all just need a change to uncover abilities we don’t know we possess.”

So says Ryan Notarpole, Employment Specialist for Marissa B., who recently took on a new role serving meals at the Longview retirement community on South Hill after more than a decade of working behind the scenes at a local supermarket.

For Marissa, caring for people is an abiding priority, and her new job allows her to engage with a variety of interesting people while continuing to develop her skills in food service. In addition to delivering their meals, Marissa is instrumental in assessing the well-being of the residents she interacts with each day.

When asked what her favorite thing about Longview is, Marissa exclaims, “Everyone is so friendly here!”

Marissa has been with Challenge throughout most of her sixteen-year career in the service industry. She credits the organization with increasing her confidence and supporting her goals for growth. Her new venture was made possible by Notarpole’s continual encouragement as well as by Job Developer Lily Rhoades’s initiative in reaching out to Longview to secure the position.

Marissa is recognized by her colleagues for her outstanding work ethic, and after quitting time Marissa enjoys socializing, reading, music, crafts, and collecting tattoos (her latest is a bejeweled crown on her forearm, representing her royal lineage on her father’s side.)

Notarpole believes that Marissa’s story demonstrates that great things can happen when someone with a tenacious attitude gets the support they deserve. “Marissa will not accept the notion that she can’t pursue her dreams because of a disability. she is a shining example of what we can achieve when we ignore the naysayers and accept the challenge.”