Staff Spotlight: Marissa Snoddy, Lead Therapist


Name and Title:

Marissa Snoddy, Lead Therapist

How long have you worked at RYSE?

I’ve worked at RYSE since July 2017.

As the Lead Therapist at RYSE, what do you do?

I co-create holistic healing spaces, grounded in social justice, with and for young people to share their pain, joy, disappointments, truths and dreams. Young people’s responses to violent, oppressive systems are often pathologized, and I believe my role in counseling is to validate their experiences; relocate the problem outside of the young person and back onto the system; and name how systems have been and continue to be set-up to harm marginalized communities. In sessions, young people get to (re)imagine what healing and liberation looks like for themselves and our/their communities.

What do you love most about your job?

I love that I get to be a part of young people’s healing journeys. Healing is hard work and there is also a lot of laughter and celebration in the process.

I also really love that one of the outcomes of RYSE’s Theory of Liberation is “Young people feel loved.” It’s both simple and radical. It’s great to be in a space that explicitly states this and walks the walk.

How did you first hear about RYSE and why did you choose to get involved?

The first time I heard about RYSE was years ago at a film festival. Someone mentioned the work that RYSE does with LGBTQ+ youth of color and I thought it sounded amazing. Years later after I became a licensed therapist, I was looking to land somewhere that was aligned with my values and I saw RYSE was hiring. After visiting RYSE and hearing about the youth-driven work that’s happening on both an individual and systemic level, I was in love!

If you had to describe RYSE in three words, what would they be and why?

Liberation, Justice, Love

Can you share something that happened in the RYSE community that resonated with you this month?

There’s always magical and touching moments happening daily around RYSE. I attended ‘The Blacker Side of the Rainbow” workshop celebrating Black LGBTQ+ folks and it was beautiful seeing young QPOC affirmed, celebrated and loved. Later in the week, I walked into the front space and music was playing, young people were wearing headwraps/getting headwrap tutorials, and getting their photos taken. There was so much joy!

If you could be a guest star on any TV show, what would it be and why?

Insecure, because the show is so good and I love Issa Rae.