#MILKMondays: Jessica Hope Murrell Berryman
For this installment of MILK (Moms I’d Like To Know) Mondays I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite people and one of my most treasured friends, Jessica Hope Murrell Berryman. Yes. She kept all of her names and yes I love everything about that. She may literally be the busiest most involved person I’ve ever met. If she isn’t busy running around for her franchise, Lango Kids, she’s at Frazier & Griffin Attorneys at Law as a social media and marketing consultant or her actual 9 to 5 as an Account Executive at Bivarus.
When her daughter was at Pearsontown Elementary, she was busy heading up the PTA as President. If she wasn’t there, she’d be with MomsRising at Moral Mondays (or any other day) fighting for the rights of mothers, children and anyone with mothers or children. You can find her helping out with Black August in the Park, an event celebrating Blackness and highlighting social justice–or sponsoring the Exchange Family Center’s Pinwheels for Prevention (simply because I asked). She literally is everywhere all the time.
If you need her, she’s there. If you believe in something, she will support it if she is able. She is someone who leads by example, and is constantly reaching back to help others. Her two girls, Kennedy and Langston, are well on their way to being hard working citizens all because they have her as a mom. She has a super hero support team between her husband, Richard Berryman III, and mother, Ms. Rita Winchester, which help her succeed and allow her to thrive. She is an NC A&T State University Aggie, and a Durham native, so really, is any of this a surprise? It shouldn’t be. Aggies Do. See how she manages it all below.
Most personal goal:
To be my best at all times while helping anyone who comes my way!
I don’t think I have theme music, but what mommy doesn’t like a good “trap” song. It makes you feel naughty because it is something you cannot listen to when your children are around (my dirty little secret). * (asterisk moment– Jessica and I have personally vibed out to Kelis, Gwen Stefani and India Arie on MULTIPLE OCCASIONS)
How has being a mom changed me?
I wouldn’t say being a mommy has changed me, but it has enhanced me and tamed me. It has allowed me to take seriously characteristics I know I’ve always wanted to improve upon, like humility– and put it in action so I can be the best example for my children.
Has anyone helped you along in your journey:
What a loaded question! YES!!!!! Having my first daughter right out of college was a challenge. My mother, my GiGi, my father, my aunts and uncles were very instrumental in my growth. People outside of my immediate family are Mrs. Deberry, Mrs. Gibbs, Ms. Andrea Harris, Ms. Joyce Siler, Beth Messersmith, and Teretha Bell. Oh yes, and my case worker at Durham Department of Social Services (DSS). ALL of these people and more that I may not have named were the angels who helped me believe in myself and follow my dreams. Or, like I like to say…Grab life by the balls and shake it UP!
I’ve gotten some gems from women I admire professionally as well. Andrea Harris, co founder and former president of NCIMED — now known as The Institute, the late Dr. Sharon Elliott Bynum, former executive director of CAARE, Lori Gibbs, senior vice president of community development banking of PNC , Darlene Deberry, a franchise owner of Edible Arrangements.
Who have you helped?
Anyone who has asked. I enjoy helping people and making a difference. I have had so many people sow into my life, so I would be crazy not to sow into someone else. Essentially, that would be selfish!
This isn’t a quote, but something I BELIEVE:
There are 10 things one can do with zero talent:
- Be on time
- Have a strong work ethic
- Put forth effort
- Positive Energy
- Positive Attitude
- Be passionate
- Be coachable
- Do extra
- Be prepared
“Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.” Mark Twain
What do you most enjoy about your career?
I enjoy the freedom to be myself and the ability to be innovative at any time.
What were some tough lessons you’ve learned career wise that you’d like to use to help others?
People believe in you when you believe in you. So smile and nod when someone gives you the compliment. When you deny it, it makes it seem as if you are putting on an act or…you just don’t believe in you!
By Lauren Ettson-Holding