We had the good fortune of connecting with CHERITA TOUSSAINT and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi CHERITA, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?

My thought process with starting my business was to open a facility for young males who age out of foster care and recently released from jail. The facility would aid these men to have a place they can locate enrichment resources gearing towards employment, education, mental illness, financial stability and shelter.

Rita’s resources will be available to everyone, with focus for teenage boys who have mental challenges that have been recently released from jail, and teenage fathers.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

I am a disability services specialist where I advocate for students to have the appropriate accommodations in higher education. My passion is helping others find their way no matter the circumstance. I make students feel welcome and leave them reassured I will do my best to make sure their voices are heard and to not be afraid to take that big leap despite their disability. It warms my heart when I am able to tutor students in math – I was weak in math and it gives me joy to speak encouraging words such as “you got this”

I started my professional career in higher education as a work study student while pursuing my associate’s degree at Madison, Wisconsin.

After receiving my associate’s degree I was promoted from work study to a part time clerical employee, while pursuing my bachelor’s degree at University of Wisconsin. Once I received my bachelors I was hired permanently as an enrollment specialist – my dream job because I was able to assist retention students.

I am in the midst of attending law school and pursuing my juvenile criminal law degree while employed in higher education. I face many challenges, but I’m passionate about helping people and learning. Along the way I have learned to go for it even if it leads to failure – my cousin Mr. Martez Jackson once told me “you rather try it than to live with the regret of wondering what it could be”

I want the world to know how compassionate I am, and my huge belief in Faith. I’m grateful to be able to pour love and encouragement into others through my organization. I want to be the one who pours hope back into people when all else is lost. My brand stands for meeting where you are and taking you to where you belong – to the top! I want to be a prayer warrior for people.

I want to be the one who pours hope back into people when all else is lost,

My brand stands for meeting where you are and taking you to where you belong – to the top.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend were to visit Atlanta we would start the trip off with getting our hair done at ’Sheena Marie Hair Salon’ in Marietta; followed by nails at ’Trinity Image Nails’ in Lithonia. The next day calls for brunch at ‘Milk and Honey’ with shopping at ‘Perimeter Mall’. Then we’d grab lunch at ‘Corner Bakery’ and end the night at ‘Harold’s Ice Bar’. We would visit the ‘Botanical Gardens’ in Athens and grab food from ‘Raising Canes Chicken’. The last day’s activities would involve ‘Georgia’s Aquarium’, ‘Coca-Cola Museum’ and a wine tasting at ‘Cynthia’s Wine Cellar’ in Midtown. To top it off with a lovely dinner at ‘Morton’s Steak House’ in Atlanta.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

I would like to dedicate this to my late cousin Justin Cole. He’s the reason behind a stem of my organization called ‘Justin’s Corner – Youth Male Connection’. A program dedicated to the legacy of Justin to live on and provide assistance, love and support to young males seeking enrichment resources that are utilized towards aging higher education, stable housing and employment.

I would also like to shout out to my husband Alesandre, my children Sharon, Marcus, Alicia, and Alessandra. The mother of Justin Cole who is my aunt, Charlene McCray. The Jackson Family and the McCann Family; these people have always encouraged me to stay focused, be a forward thinker and were always there when I needed them the most.

Shoutout to friends and family who have always supported me.

Website: https://www.ritas-helping-hand.org/

Instagram: ritas_helping_hand

Twitter: @HelpingRita

Facebook: @RitasHelpingHand2020

Image Credits
Jenny Burdette Faith Harris

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