ST. PETERSBURG –For Marissa Stubbs, failing is a part of learning and growing. Such has been the philosophy of the 2017 graduate of The Boca Ciega High School.
She indicates that as she goes throughout life, she will always remember that success comes from failure and obstacles will arise because without struggle there is no strength.
As a young woman of faith and a professed believer of Christ, Marissa’s faith encourages her that God will take her to many places in life, some of which she had never dreamed would become her reality.
She recalled the first time she realized that failure is inevitable. It was in her junior year when she first started to take the ACT.
“As a student, I’ve always had test anxiety and this specific test brought on so much stress, it was unbearable,” said Marissa.
Since the ACT determines college readiness, she studied constantly. Feeling pretty confident, she felt she only missed one or two. Finally, the results were in, and she couldn’t believe her eyes.
“I viewed my results only to see my true shortcomings. Looking at my results, I know it couldn’t have been true,” she said. “I was looking at a screen that told me I did not pass my ACT. In that very moment self- doubt came about and a sense of insecurity arose.”
For weeks, Marissa dwelled on the fact that she was a high school junior still trying to pass the ACT. Her faith could not fail her now. This is only a test!
Stubbs was actively involved in AVID Leadership, freshman and sophomore class clubs and the peer-tutoring program. She was active in the AKA AKAdemy, the Young Ladies of Christian Character, the Fellowship Christian Club and a slew of other activities.
In sports, she played middle hitter for the Lady Pirates Volleyball team where she led the team to a district championship in her senior year, and academically she held onto a 3.5 grade point average.
Her positive mindset and involvement in clubs and programs helped to build her confidence, but her ACT score tore down her self-esteem.
“My mentality changed the day I started to live up to my full potential. Whenever things went wrong in my life I would feel pity for myself,” said Marissa. “Pity held me back, and at one point in my life, I let it. Once I saw my full potential I knew that passing this test wouldn’t be as hard as the first time.”
She was correct. Marissa passed the test and is preparing to attend Florida A & M University where she plans to major in mass communication/ journalism. In 10 years, she hopes to be interning at a television network while building her own media empire.
From that junior year experience, Marissa learned that success doesn’t always come on the first try, but is a highway with many bumps, detours and U-turns. She realized that failure is a teaching tool and one of the most valuable lessons one can learn.
Marissa is the daughter of Felicia Kennedy and Emanuel Stubbs.