Maricellyn ‘Rissy’ McDonald Biography

“Art is about building a new foundation, not just laying something on top of what’s already there.” – Prince

Maricellyn McDonald (she/her) is a 17 year old senior at Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, South Carolina. She is currently working on completing her International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma and has always prioritized education and learning through her life. She is a member of her school mock trials team, creative writing club, and book club among many other endeavors. She is also the number two player on her school’s varsity tennis team.

Rissy is a music enthusiast and prides herself on her vinyl collection. She self-identifies as a creative and often finds herself reaching for a paint brush or chalk pastel to channel and express her beliefs, experiences, and joys in life.

Rissy is intent on using her knowledge and understanding of the world to expand equity, justice and love to people of all walks of life. She has been involved with organizations, like EveryBlackGirl, inc. and Justice For Black Girls, which center Black girls and their experiences. In any way that she can, Rissy uses her voice to support, advocate for and empower marginalized people across the world.

Above all, Rissy is a writer in all the many facets of her life. She currently serves as the co-editor-in-chief of “The Saber”, her school’s online news publication. Though most of Rissy’s writing tends to tackle socio-political issues ; abortion bans, gender justice and the lives of working high school students, she has also dabbled in book reviews, feature stories and local stories. In Rissy’s personal time, she spends hours writing journal entries and poetry relating to her intersectional experience as a Black girl navigating life in the South. In 2020, her poetry was shown in an online exhibition “#blackgirlpoetry” through the organization, Black Womxn Healing.

Rissy aspires to write professionally in any way, shape, or form. She has a deep passion for journalism but also hopes to explore novel writing with inspiration from young adult writers like Phil Stamper, Kalynn Bayron and Adib Khorram. Her greatest hope is that her writing can be used to center, support and empower people of intersectional identities. She believes that writing is the key to any social change or progress.

Find Rissy @rissy_mc on instagram and twitter.

Poet. Writer. Creator. Advocate. Lover. Dreamer.


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