How do you see yourself, and how would you like to be seen?

I see myself as a work in progress.... I am growing, but I have not yet reached all that I am meant to become. I refuse to be stagnant with where I am, when I know a better me is there waiting in my next step. All I have to do is keep doing the work. I would like people to see me as growing. I want people to look at me and say, "Man, Larissa gets better every day," or "Larissa, gets better every time I see her".


How do you define your purpose in life?

To create an atmosphere where change is possible. From my family , to being a licensed counselor, in preaching, or with my poetry , my purpose is to show others that it is possible.


What are three events that helped to shape your life?

1. Being ordained a license minster

2. The death of my father and aunt

3. The birth of my daughter


What woman inspires you and why?

My mother. She is an example of strength and vulnerability. She makes me want to do better, simply because she allows me to know I can .

She is home . Not because of the location, but she is home . She is my comfort, my biggest motivator, but she will also check me and help me get myself in order when I am wrong.


Are there any assumptions about women that you would like to change? Why?

1. That women "can't" get along or be friends. I see us beginning to grow out of that and, I am with the movement. But, yes we can be friends, and we can also help each other become phenomenal.

2. That women are limited to docile work, when in reality we can master any challenge put in front of us. We are strong and powerful. 

I think if we can master these things and break down these barriers, then women as a whole will be a force to reckon with. 


What do you believe will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?  

To be honest I think the women behind me will have more opportunities than challenges. We have begun to break the mold in all areas of life, they just have to keep up the momentum ... we are waking into the area where we refuse to believe anything can stop us. Not our race, gender, or whatever else is thrown at us.


As a Woman of Valor, what advice would you give to your younger self and do you follow this advice now?

 Go for it ... don't be afraid. Fear will keep you from accepting opportunities and you weren't created to fear. 

I am learning this . In my poetry and preaching I try to leave fear in my car and give all I have when I am in front of an audience or congregation. 

I don't always overcome that fear, but I never stop trying.