Tonja Murphy is busy in her office at MidTown Partners in the Millsaps area off of North West Street in Jackson. MidTown Partners is helping people create a sustainable, livable community, among other things.
This is the latest in a series of jobs that Tonja has. Well, I started to say that she has found, but that’s not entirely true. It’s more like the latest in a series of jobs she has been led to, starting with an unexpected turn in her life.
“My life, I mean, it just literally took, I mean it just ran off in the ditch almost,” said Tonja.
From that, Tonja found herself BEING served by an organization that she once been a volunteer for. And that could have been that. But in the process of picking up her life, she went to WORK for that organization helping them help other people. And that’s when she found herself.
“And for the first time in my life I knew, okay, your life work, your purpose, is to be working with people in the community,” said Tonja
Tonja Murphy has worked mostly with middle and senior high students, teaching them to set and attain goals and prioritize their lives. And not just be takers but givers, too.
“I ask them, okay, who are the people in your life who can help you with this," Tonja added. "And after you meet YOUR goal, who are the people YOU’RE going to help meet the same goal?”
She’s preaching what she has practiced. Someone helped her and now she’s paying that back and forward by helping a LOT of other people.
“It’s better than a paycheck because you are able to do something that’s priceless,” said Tonja.
My daughter reminds me all the time of the old saying, “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” ‘Course I tell her it could KILL you, too.
But when Tonja Murphy came up on a situation like that in her life, not only did it make HER stronger but in turn, she’s making a lot of other people stronger. Mississippi strong.
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