Your Neighbor: Meet Marissa Corra

Published 12:05 am Thursday, September 7, 2023

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By Mandy Haggerson

For the Clemmons Courier

As summer is ending, Marissa Corra is reminded of the importance of striking a balance regardless of the season.

Growing up a voracious reader, Corra loved learning about different subject matters and ideas.

“I loved doing reading contests to earn prizes from the various books I was reading,” Corra said.

If not reading, she also participated in ice skating, cheerleading and taking flute lessons to try different things.

“I am an only child and always tried to stay busy and active with my hobbies and interests,” Corra said.

Aside from being gifted academically, Corra realized early on that she enjoyed helping other kids.

“The small Christian school that I attended from K-12 provided volunteer opportunities,” Corra said. “In high school, I started tutoring and helping out at my school. I realized how much I enjoyed sharing my love of learning and reading with others.

“I decided to stay close to home and went to the University of Toledo to pursue a degree in education. That’s also where I met my husband, Joel. We were both very involved with Campus Crusade for Christ (now called Cru). We became friends first and then started dating. We just celebrated being married for 20 years.”

When the newlyweds left the University of Toledo after graduation, Corra began tutoring for a while.

“The job market was tough at first when I graduated, (so) I decided to get a master of education in reading and literacy,” said Corra, who was quickly promoted to the director of the YMCA. “Around that time, Joel and I were thinking we wanted to move. He had better career opportunities where the weather was warmer, and having both been raised in the Midwest, that sounded like a great idea. My parents decided to move with us in 2008 down to North Carolina. I started working as the Child Center Director at Centenary Child Care Center.”

After five years in their new home, the Corras decided to expand their family.

“When Evan was born in 2013, we learned not long after that he had a hole in his heart,” Corra said. “It was a scary and stressful time for us because we knew that meant surgery for him at only four months. Fortunately, everything went well, and he still has follow-ups, but the surgery was successful.

“We had Evan’s younger brother, Ethan, 21 months after he was born. I had stopped working at the Centenary Child Care Center when Evan was first born. I had gotten a certification in personal training so I could take care of myself, too. I began helping train other busy moms so they could have that resource and fitness available to them.”

Not too long after Corra started training other moms, she realized that getting a nutritionist degree would be a helpful and impactful component.

“At that time, my dad (was diagnosed with) MS, and I wanted to proactively help him as much as possible, too,” Corra said. “I knew that nutrition was a big part for him. He passed away in 2020, which was hard.”

A year after losing her dad, Corra began homeschooling Evan.

“I knew I had the education background and thought it would be a good fit for him,” Corra said. “I started recently homeschooling his brother too. We had given him the choice, and he was excited to at least try it. We are part of a co-op with 150 kids. I’m on the board for the co-op and help plan field trips and events for them. I’m not sure how long we will do it, but for now, it’s been a good option for our family.”

Although her role has sidelined her training both nutritionally and physically other moms for right now, she has found other ways to stay involved with the community.

“I have started playing tennis regularly out at Bermuda Run, which is fun,” Corra said. “We as a family like to take lessons in tennis and golf. We also stay active at our church, Knollwood Baptist.

“With the kids’ activities, including swimming, we have a lot going on these days. It’s nice with homeschooling; we are able to schedule things around them, though, which does help with flexibility. I think it’s important that we are showing these kids about balancing things out. We have a full plate, but we make sure to take time to take care of ourselves too and spend time with each other.”