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On A Mission 2 Advocate

Tamara Tuckson is an Academy Aulma, a 1st-place pitch winner, an Academy facilitator, and the CEO and founder of Mission 2 Advocate. Phew! Tamara is a woman on a mission and has been for quite some time.

“My daughter has Rhett syndrome, the most severe form of Autism there is for a female. The doctors stated that she wouldn’t be able to walk, or talk, she wouldn’t have purposeful hand movements, and that she would have seizures and probably wouldn’t have a life expectancy. But she has exceeded all expectations, and Rhett syndrome does not define us. We define Rhett syndrome. So I started this company because I learned how to advocate for her and just felt like there was such a great need for parents.”

Tamara was vulnerable and scared when her daughter first received her diagnosis, and through years of educating herself, she realized that all she’d learned could be shared with others in similar situations.

“I wanted to give compassion, plus the knowledge that I have gained, to other families. And I’m not scared to speak. So I learned how to master my IEP meetings, and I wanted to help other parents to be able to learn how to advocate for their individual loved ones in IEP meetings, but also help them with free resources that they would look to in their time of need and also be a listening ear for them.”

Thus, the Mission 2 Advocate dream was born!

But before it was a nonprofit, it was just a passion. Tamara and her daughter found purpose in helping other families, and they just kept at it. 

“I always phrase it like this. I had the carriage but not the horse. My carriage was full. My daughter and I have been volunteering and doing this work for absolutely nothing at all. We just have the passion for it. We love it. It does something for us to help other people who are in this situation. 

“So I met with a young lady who is in the Millionaires Club for Women. We sat down at a coffee shop and we talked, and I told her all about my carriage, what was in there, and all that my daughter and I had done. And she said, ‘Great, but you don’t have the horse to pull it. You’ve got to make all this legit so you can start a business.’

And I didn’t even know where to begin. But she said, ‘I do. You go to Corner to Corner and they’re going to hook you up, and they’re going to teach you how to start this business from the ground up at The Academy.’”

So that’s exactly what Tamara did.

“I had no social media. I had no website, nothing. But I had the work, the purpose. The Academy pushes you off the porch without pushing you down. And I mean that. They push you off that porch. They stretch you. But the bonding is real, and it gives you a team and it gives you a network of people that are there for you.”

And that’s what Corner to Corner is all about: the network. Connecting our 1,000+ and growing community of Black entrepreneurs with each other, with other business leaders in Nashville, with funding and mentorship and so much more. Building that network with intentionality, so that entrepreneurs like Tamara can flourish within the program – and maybe even make it up on the stage for our Compassionate Pitch Contest.

“I’m a public speaker, but let me tell you, the pitch was different because I was able to tell my story. I was able to tell what I’ve lived with my daughter. And to be able to come on stage and tell that story of overcoming obstacles, to be able to bring my daughter out on stage for people to see how we were able to overcome together… it was a night I’ll always remember. 

“And I have to shine a light on my classmates. They left no stone unturned to make sure they supported me for this pitch. They played a big role in my winning that contest that night. My whole community did – I practiced with my daughter’s teachers, with the church, with my family

“On top of winning the pitch, I won so many prizes to meet with people who are going to help me to get that portfolio all put together so that when I go back and meet with that lady from the Millionaires Club, I’ll have the horse for my carriage. And I will represent Corner to Corner very well.”

And Tamara is ready to take this passion to another level. To a place where her business can grow and evolve as she continues to learn, and with that growth help and reach more families in vulnerable situations like she once was.

“I love that entrepreneurship is emotional.

It’s a big investment in yourself, in your family, and in your dreams. And that can feel scary for sure. But I’m addicted. It’s almost like I’m addicted to checking to see what’s new. What you got for me? What are we going to do? There’s a mixer next Thursday and then I’m looking for your email today. It’s magnetic. I would say that The Academy is contagious, you know what I’m saying? Like you just want to grab it. Because Corner to Corner will kick you off the porch. But they won’t push you down. They’re going to help you stand up. But you got to get off that porch. You got to walk around. You got to maneuver. You got to get out of your comfort zone.”

Visit Tamara’s website here: Mission 2 Advocate