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Marita is wearing: Hat by Designs by Tony, $320, designsbytony.co; blouse, $225; jacket, $1495; pants, $850, available at Rodes for Her, 4938 Brownsboro Road (502) 753.7633

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Marita A. Willis perseveres despite losing both of her children and turned pain into an opportunity for personal growth. Marita, is chief empowerment officer at Hope Collaborative and the 2019 Kentucky Derby Festival Chairwoman.

“The passing of my children has influenced and given me the inner strength to do what I do outwardly in my community, in my church, and with anyone who comes within my path. I speak life when I mentor young people, I demonstrate strength and courage daily in my faith walk. I live what God has placed on my heart,” she says. Aside from relying on friends and family for support in difficult times, Marita says her faith has been the biggest source of strength. “During my journey of life events, I have seen God carry me when I could not carry myself. I’ve seen his mercy and loving concern for me to get me through another day, another month and yes, another year,” she says.   

Extra tidbit: Your child might have the answer to helping you overcome your biggest obstacle

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