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InspHeRational Woman: Marcee Lee Winthrop

Marcee Lee Winthrop is one of The Most Incredible people I know. She has lived in poverty for many years until New Year’s eve on December 31st, 2008 came. She vowed to get herself and her daughter out of poverty. She is now an author, publisher, singer, and poet! Read her story, and if you ever thought you couldn’t do something, think of her and what she had to go through and how she made it. Let that be a reminder to you to follow your passions no matter where you are!

Current role: Poet/author/Publisher/Singer/Advocate-Activist/President of nonprofit on the internet/mother of 14 year old daughter. I’m a real, true Renaissance woman.

Company/organization: Marcee L.Johnson Publishing



Myers-Briggs type: ENFJ

What are your deepest and truest passions?

My deepest and truest passions are many.The big picture is to help in the elimination of poverty world-wide and to work on peace efforts world-wide as well. Right now, my passion lies in my immediate area of Gainesville, Florida that carries a very bad reputation of treating the poor in a less than humane way. My battlefield front is right where I am with more than enough to do. If I can make a difference here, then I can do the same thing statewide, nationally, and globally. Also, on a more personal level—I want my children and their descendants to have opportunities that they would otherwise not have, unless I change the dynamic of our lives from poverty to abundance.

Tell me about your past. I want people to know the true Marcee Lee Winthrop!

My past is important to know about but I have no intention of repeating it because I am on the rise. I was born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on December 26, 1954. I am about to turn 55 years old. My mother did not want me because I was born out of wedlock. My great-Aunt Evelyn adopted me and raised me as her own. She worked at the Bell Telephone Company in Boston for 40 years as a Supervisor and bought up lots of stock in Bell. By the time she retired, she had entered Upper Middle Class level in finances and sent me to the best private schools in Boston right alongside The Kennedy’s and occasionally to a Parochial school too as she was a very devout Catholic. I credit this great education for my huge vocabulary and my ability to write as I do. She was responsible for my love of culture as she would take me to the Symphony, Theater, Ballet, Opera, etc. I was not always poor—in fact, I felt privileged. I took things for granted and would have never understood the poor at that time in my life.

When Evelyn died in 1986, I lost the only person in the world who truly cared about me and I had taken her for granted. When she died, I was struggling for the first time in my life and was ill-equipped to deal with it. My descent into poverty began immediately after the only connect to any kind of finances died—-my adopted mother.

After 4 husbands who I believed would rescue me like the fairy tales and take care of me and my children, I know now that I always had the strength within to make it myself—-I just didn’t believe that I could. In fact, I hated myself and I hated my looks and I didn’t feel worthy of the best—–so I ended up with the worst sort of characters (my husbands, boyfriends). Poverty was part of my life and unfortunately, part of my childrens’ too. I was a mother who didn’t even feel capable of taking care of myself and yet, I had all this responsibility on me. When you are at loose ends and you don’t know what to do—it’s horrible. I liken poverty to an earthly Hell.

October 2008 I went onto Ancestry.com to look up my roots. I typed in the family members that I knew of and what unfolded surprised me! Someone in my family had already done the family tree back to 1045AD and there were some famous ancestors too. Well, I was never the same again! I began to question myself about why I was in poverty when I had the same blood as those who would never have sat down and wallowed in the pitiful state that I had let myself sink to. No more! I began to think of dreams, goals, visions, interests, skills, abilities, in short, anything that I could do to get out of poverty. I wasn’t going to be satisfied unless I got out of it now—-that was when my mind change happened and there was no going back.

New Year’s Eve 2008/2009, the ball in Times Square dropped and I turned to my teenage daughter and said that this would be the year we would get out of poverty. This was a promise that became my New Years Resolution. Keep in mind that when I said this—I wasn’t sure how I was going to fulfill that promise yet! But I was determined to do something. It has been almost a year since then and we are still on this journey out of poverty but we are so much closer to being out than if I had done nothing.

Your story sounds amazing! What successes did you achieve this year?

The successes this year were the writing and publishing of my 1st book and selling to local bookstores, on the internet and direct sales. 150 books have been printed and published this year. I have had 4 write-ups in local newspapers, 3 book signings at local stores, 7 presentations on the campus of University of Florida, asked be participate on panels for campus Habitat For Humanity and Alachua County Housing Authority, numerous interviews on camera. Poverty activist at the Alachua County Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless meetings. Now I am working on my 2nd book due out in the New Year and the year isn’t quite over yet. One thing I must mention—it’s not overnight success. I am earning every bit that I get for doing the work that I do now. That’s what will make success so much better—to know that I had to earn it. It wasn’t handed to me. A year ago, no-one knew me at all and now I have become a local celebrity. Quite a change!

January 22, 2012   No Comments