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AAPI Month Bios - Marrissa Kim

Marrissa Kim

4th year Captain, Command Force


Time at the Commanders: 5 years

Ethnic background: First generation Korean American

Please share your career background and how you landed in your current role with the Washington Commanders.

Currently, I serve as an IT Consultant for a software, data and insights company empowering federal agencies, program offices and government contractors. Along with my passion in the IT industry for over 5 years, my dance career began at the age of 6. Being on the Command Force has been a dream of mine – I have listed it on my "Life Goals" list since I was freshman in high school. I took a leap of faith and auditioned for the First Ladies of Football back in 2020 when my whole life changed the moment they called my name as an official member. Since then, I have received many blessings from this organization as I am constantly being positively challenged and empowered by my coaches and teammates.

What's a work-related accomplishment in the past year that you're really proud of?

I was selected to represent the Commanders and Command Force at a military tour in Okinawa, Japan. It was an honor to represent my organization and my team in a foreign country where I was able to meet our soldiers and give them a piece of home. This moment changed my perspective on life with how blessed I am with constantly given opportunities and experiences that are once in a lifetime. I emerged in a culture similar to my own home country where I was exposed to hard work and dedication, honor, and respect.

Are there any cultural traditions from your heritage that you incorporate into your work or daily life?

The Command Force is my family away from home. I respect and trust my director Jade and coaches Christie and Ashley which stems from my cultural morals and values of respecting our ancestors and obedience to family. I protect my own team like my family, as my culture has a heavy emphasis on protecting the family. I strive to always have my teammates back and to empower them all on our dance journey together. "No man left behind" is a saying I hold close when it comes to the team. I will protect my team and my family, and we will succeed and surpass any challenge that comes our way, together. Honor is what I hold true to myself on a daily basis. It is a privilege to represent the Commanders and the Command Force. There are not many Asian Americans in the NFL to begin with, and representation matters. I am honored to be in the public eye where I aspire to inspire those who look just like me, to one day be in my shoes on this field.

Can you highlight a mentor or role model who has influenced your career journey?

A role model of mine is my dance team coach Julia Urban from James Madison University Dukettes dance team. Julia has constantly pushed me from day one when I was a freshman to my last performance as a senior. She showed kindness and grace, yet encouraged power and resilience whenever I was down. She never sugar-coated anything and kept it 100% real to show that she cared. I was able to apply her guidance and from my culture, it made me think of "The Dragon." The dragon is the symbol of change, protection, and power. Julia taught me that change is inevitable and to be resilient against whatever tries to push me down but to also give myself grace and that change is necessary and ultimately a choice for the individual to grow. Julia's loyalty to my team showed me protection– "protect this house, protect this family", which is a quote that I say to the Command Force to this day. Julia showed me power, as an individual and together as a team. She taught me that it is never "I" or "me", it is "we." We used to listen to the famous speech from "On Any Given Sunday" every time we competed: "Either we heal, now, as a team, or we will die as individuals" this taught me to always be a team player and to protect my team, who is my family.

Are there any AAPI leaders or public figures who have inspired you? If so, how have they influenced your approach to work and leadership?

South Korean professional figure skater, Yuna Kim, is a public figure that has inspired me during my dance journey. Her resilience and passion has influenced me as a dancer and a leader for my team. She was the first female figure skater to win an Olympic gold medal and is known for her philanthropy. She has donated to aid earthquake recovery efforts in Turkey and Syria. This has influenced me to be the best I can be, as a first generation Korean American on the Command Force. Yuna Kim's philanthropy has influenced my drive to be heavily involved with the Commanders community and be a force for good in the DMV. One of the things I love most about this organization is the spotlight we have on giving back to our community. Not only are we able to show our passion on and off the field, but we are able to share it with our fans.

What advice would you like to give to leaders who are newer in their career journeys?

Keep pushing, keep working hard and have humility. Respect those around you and absorb as much guidance that comes your way. There will be many times where you are pushed down and are at the brink of giving up- remember who you are, where you came from and who you do it for. Always keep your values and morals close to your mind and heart and lead by example. With grace and grit, remain humble in what you do. Remember, your biggest competition is yourself. Strive to be better than the person you were yesterday.