On May 29, 2002, I was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi at 9:30 P.M. Clarksdale is a small town in Northwest Mississippi. This is where the root of my family began and remains. When I think of home, family, and priceless history, I think of Clarksdale. This place and community raised me and had a strong impact on how I viewed life and wanted more for myself as well as my family and friends.
Nineteen years ago, the start of the journey of a single mother raising her infant son into an independent young man began. Growing up had its difficulties. Although, I can say there was never a time when we went without food, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our back. My mother sacrificed a lot to make sure I always had what I needed plus extra. There would be days and nights when my mother would go without feeding herself something to eat just to make sure I never went without. Growing up as an only child, my mom was all I knew. She was everything – a mother, father, friend, role model, and teacher. It was also a struggle growing up without a father in the house. The older I became, the more resentment set inside of me due to circumstances I did not understand. This affected my behavior, mental health, and overall lifestyle.
Throughout my life, I experienced some traumatic situations and moments. At twelve years old, I did not understand a lot of things that were happening at the time in my life. Just entering middle school, I was going through dealing with the loss of someone who was my number one father figure growing up, experiencing rejection, bullying, harassment, sexual abuse, lacking self-love, self-confidence, and not knowing my self-worth. At the time, I felt I had to be strong and keep everything inside without talking to someone. Therefore, it led me to attempting to commit suicide at just twelve years old. This was one of the roughest times of my life that I experienced. The road to my recovery was not easy. I had to go through judgement from others who did not understand the situation. It took years for me to gain my self-love and self-confidence back. Although, I made it through by being different and just myself.
Two years ago, I graduated high school as valedictorian of my class, a four-sport athlete, all-star athlete, all-state athlete, class president, student government association president, and future student at the University of Mississippi. My whole life, I have loved the art of singing, songwriting, drawing, designs, clothing, fashion, and simple diverse ways of expression. It was these things that got me through a time where I was at my lowest and had no one else around me for comfort. Therefore, that is my drive. I want to use the Jay Marquis clothing line as a form of expression for everybody. I want to be known as a strong advocate for mental health awareness using this brand as my platform all over the world. The more lives I reach out to and touch, the more my purpose on this earth is being fulfilled.