NetWORKS was inspired by the vow I (Marjorie Willis, Founder & Executive Director) made to God.

While working as Executive Director for Boys & Girls of Greater Peoria, Ill., the Lord allowed us to start a Performing Arts Troupe. The Club was located directly across the street from the largest low-income housing complex in Peoria.

Some of the “wannabe” gang members started coming to the Club. At first, their goal was to infiltrate and tear down but after getting involved with drama, step team, and choir, they began to protect it and build it up. It was a character-building experience for them.

So when we moved to Mississippi in 2006, I started coordinating skits in our local church and district church fellowships. I kept listening to God to establish an organization that would speak to youth issues through drama and other performing arts. God had been talking to me for years in Michigan, Illinois, and South Carolina but I always came up with a reason to say no. Finally, I said yes.

When I established my board of directors, it was their idea that we come up with a product that we could sell to help raise money for our activities, thus TastyTime Gourmet Popcorn was established. I virtually knew nothing about popcorn. Many hours were spent on trial and error, investigating, acquiring the right equipment, etc.

As a customer pleaser, Rev’s Southern Pork Rinds came into existence in 2019. I started frying at first and it was awful. My husband took it over and now it’s going well. We’ve taken the time to experiment with different raw pork rinds to get the best end results. He fries and I season. Rev’s Southern Pork Rinds are a contracted vendor for Mississippi State University Athletic Events. We’re also looking at air frying and other ways to improve our product and to give customers more options.

Marjorie Willis

Founder & Executive Director

    Mrs. Willis has compiled over twenty years of youth program experience having worked as an Executive Director, Unit Director, Program Director, Program Coordinator, Case Manager, Resident Manager and Lead Recruiter for youth agencies such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America, YWCA (Flint, MI), Mott Children’s Health Center (Flint, MI),  Methodist Children’s Homes of Mississippi (Jackson, MS) and  Eagle’s Nest Academy (Flint, MI). 

    Mrs. Willis has worked extensively as the Youth Director for Chapel Hill MBC (Starkville, MS), Mt. Pleasant MBC (Flint, MI) and the Gethsemane Mt. Moriah District Association (Northeast MS). As a volunteer, Mrs. Willis served on the Flint Beecher School Board and many other occasions as a youth advocate.

    Prior to adulthood, I experienced a life that I can truly say prepared me for this work in the ministry. My childhood was an exercise in various dysfunctionalities in the midst of my mother’s strong hand of love and training. I have extreme respect for my mother who lived through some of the same dysfunctionalities that I experienced. I often wonder how she mustered the courage and mental faculties to start each day and I respond with the words…. "only by the grace of God”.

    So as a teen mother, I was confused, anxious, distraught, and abandoned by some friends, some church members, and some family. I’ll never forget the day I made a vow to the Lord.  As I sat on the back row of our church with my baby in my arms, I told God that if he would help me raise my son, I would for the rest of my life, help other youth that may be having difficulties to rise above their circumstances. On that day, I dedicated my son to God. Since then, I’ve had my ups and downs….my exits and entrances but God has never left me. There have been many times that I didn’t want to honor my vow, but God touches my memory and I realize there is still work to be done.

    Jessica Harris

    Program Director for Grace Express (NetWORKS’ summer camp)