Inspiration is always within arm’s reach for Tyra Mitchell. The 2006 South University, Columbia graduate is an entrepreneur who developed the "Jesus Button,” a red, triangular button that can sit on a desktop, countertop or car dashboard and will play inspirational messages with supporting scripture reference at the push of a button. The “Jesus Button” also has volume control and a USB port for downloading additional messages.
As Managing Director of Beauty for Ashes Christian Development Group, LLC, Mitchell is responsible for making sure the “Jesus Button” is where interested consumers can find it. That means reaching out to stores who may want to stock the product, and customers who may want to purchase it. Those duties may sound like a radical departure from Mitchell’s Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies from South University, but Mitchell says her South University education helped prepare her for life as an entrepreneur.
“I can say that 95% of what I do is connected to the legal field,” explained Mitchell. “I have to deal with legal research, contracts, agreements, trademarks, licensing and copyrights….having a Legal Studies degree has been a plus.”
While Mitchell is using her degree to bring an uplifting message to the world, her interest in legal studies was born out of tragedy. Just before Mitchell turned 13, her father was killed by a drunk-driver in a hit and run. Mitchell says sitting through court proceedings at that young age sparked an interest in the law. After nearly 21 years serving in active duty and reserve positions with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force, Mitchell decided it was time to pursue her legal studies education at South University.
“All of the instructors that I had were very understanding and actually cared about the students,” Mitchell remembered.
Mitchell is now a U.S. patent owner and owner of several trademarks. When asked to share how she got to where she is today Mitchell answered, “Keeping GOD first, vision and tenacity for starters. I did not allow the word ‘no’ to stop me from moving forward. Now there were times when I became discouraged, but after having my reality moment I had to quickly jump back on the horse and continue moving forward.
And Mitchell is continuing to move forward with her education. She is now enrolled in South University’s Doctor of Ministry degree program, and balances the demands of her studies with the demands of her new business.
“My advice to current students would be keep God first, stay focused and determined.”
You can view the “Jesus Button” at www.jesusbutton.com.
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