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Andrè Marria’s Entrepreneurial Journey Sparked a Passion for Empowering Others

Left to right: Andrè Marria, Spark Entrepreneur Jasmine Calhoun, & DeShay  Williams
Left to right: Andrè Marria, Spark Entrepreneur Jasmine Calhoun, & DeShay Williams. Andrè is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Professional Couselor Supervisor, and owner of Marria's Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting Services LLC

Living and working in Thomasville means interacting with the most friendly, caring, and helpful people. People like you, and Spark volunteer, Andrè Marria. If you don't know her, I would like to introduce her to you. 

When Andè Marria first stepped into the world of entrepreneurship decades ago, she had no idea it would ignite a lifelong passion for personal growth and empowering others. Today, as one of the first coaches and mentors at Spark Thomasville, Andrè is paying forward the transformative experiences that shaped her own journey.


It all began many years ago with Amway, a company that opened Andrè’s eyes to the possibilities of financial freedom and independence. 

"I saw another level of living and began to pursue it,” she reflects. The training and mentorship she received through Amway not only equipped her with practical business skills but also stirred her to a deep commitment to personal development.


This realization led Andrè to face one of her biggest weaknesses: speaking. When she talked, she talked so rapidly that, "I would cause a train wreck!” When a supervisor challenged her to hone this critical skill, she mustered the courage to join Toastmasters. With practice and perseverance, she blossomed into a confident communicator.


For Andrè, Toastmasters and Amway were more than just stepping stones in her development – they were a revelation. “It was then that I realized, you gotta have money to invest in yourself and your business to make money,” she shares.


“Everyone needs training. You gotta heal before you help.”


Fueled by this insight and her dream of a better life for her family, Andrè launched her side hustle while working full-time.


But Andrè’s entrepreneurial journey has never been just about personal success. Sparked by the mentorship and support she received along the way, she felt called to give back. So when her friends Nathaniel Abrams and Sharon Edwards invited her to become a coach and mentor at Spark Thomasville, she jumped at the chance.


Working with underserved entrepreneurs in Spark’s intensive 12-week training program, Andrè found her true calling. She pours her heart into coaching and mentoring her mentees, drawing on decades of experience to guide them through the challenges of starting and growing a business.


The results have been nothing short of extraordinary. All of Andrè’s mentees have all become winners in the SparkTank Competition, securing funding and support to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. And just like Andrè found her voice through Toastmasters, her Spark students have become masters at telling their own stories – a critical skill for any entrepreneur.


For Andrè, seeing her mentees thrive is the ultimate reward. “Entrepreneurship has opened up my career path, allowed me to make more money, and grow as a leader and people developer,” she reflects. “But the real joy comes from passing that on to others and watching them flourish.”


Looking back on her journey, Andrè is grateful for every twist and turn that led her to this moment. “If it wasn’t for the people who invested in me when I was starting out, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she says. “That’s why I’m so passionate about being that person for someone else – to help them see their potential and go after their dreams.”


And that’s the true power of Spark Thomasville. By bringing together experienced entrepreneurs like Andrè with aspiring business owners who have the drive but not always the resources or support, Spark is creating a ripple effect of transformation in the community. One mentor, one entrepreneur at a time, they’re proving that with the right mix of training, coaching and funding, there’s no limit to what underestimated individuals can achieve.


For Andrè, it’s a legacy she’s proud to be a part of – and one she hopes will inspire others to get involved. “If you’ve ever thought about mentoring or supporting entrepreneurs in your community, I encourage you to take that leap,” she says. “The impact you can have is truly immeasurable.”


I am grateful for generous Thomasville folks like Andrè and for you!


DeShay Williams

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