By DERON SNYDER
First Baptist Church of Glenarden (Md.) member Clarissa Corey-Bey recently was voted the 2014 Bishop McNamara High School Woman of the Year. Clarissa displayed a spirit of excellence at the famed BMHS, in Forestville, Md., graduating with a 3.94 G.P.A., serving as president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and playing bass in the Maryland All-State Orchestra.
She also wrote for the school newspaper, was a Youth Leader and participated in several after-school clubs. Outside of BMHS, Clarissa spoke to local children on behalf of the National Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking. Part of her service with the coalition involved working with undercover police officers to help them catch distributors who sell alcohol to minors.
“I had no idea I was going to win (Woman of the Year),” she says. “There are so many great people in my class doing all these great things and really deserving of the award. I was very surprised.
Clarissa was raised in FBCG and remembers sitting in the Ministry Center parking lot, preparing for the dash to get into the sanctuary opposed to the overflow rooms. She was a member of the Sunbeam Choir, Star Ministry and dabbled in the Aviation Ministry before becoming a faithful volunteer at the SHABACH! Empowerment Center.
“I’ve gone there ever since my freshman year and I love it,” she says. “I still go there all the time, filling orders for clients, organizing shelves and helping Miss Gwen (Pope) with anything she might need. They just do good work there.”
She says her heart for service grew when she turned 16 and fully realized that “all people are God’s children and deserve certain rights because they’re God’s children. That includes being able to have food, shelter, clean clothes and have people treat you with love and respect. It makes me sad today when I look around the world and see how much people disregard human dignity.”
Clarissa is an incoming freshman at the University of Maryland-College Park, where she’s majoring in Music Education with a minor in Spanish. Her sister is a diplomat in Panama and Clarissa can see herself there one day, too.
“My big dream is to use music to serve my community here and abroad,” she says. “My dream is to find a way to do diplomacy through music and improve the condition of man. It might be crazy but that’s not going to stop me from trying.”
Considering her track record so far, we won’t be surprised when she succeeds.