"This class has been wonderful. It's been a build up for my self esteem. It has taught me how to believe in me. It has strengthened my vocabulary. It has taught me how to continue on this uphill journey. Thank you for believing in me."--L.K.

"I have been blessed to know you. You have inspired me to be the best I can be."--S.B.

"I had so much fun in your class. All of the smiles and laughter brought me great joy and I will truly miss you."--C.M.


​“Miss Roberts, whom I affectionately call Aunt Marnise, has always struck me as a woman of immense character and professionalism. Indeed, her faith and maternal love powerfully impact everyone who encounters her.... I am thankful that I did.”—Dominique Kemp, student, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA


“We’ve known Marnise for about 30 years, which is long before she and Byron had children. Over the years, our children have grown up together like one huge extended family. We’ve watched them parent, discussed our ups and downs, laughed about how we’ve handled situations, and planned out our children’s lives. Through it all, we’ve always received sound, Christian-based advice from “Miss Marnise” that we knew we could trust. The Roberts are wonderful parents, but more importantly, the three Roberts children are wonderful young adults whom any parent would be proud to have. I guess that’s the real proof. So you should really take note of what she’s telling you in this book.”—Carolyn and Mikehl Hafner, parents, Grosse Pointe Park, MI

 “As a teenager, I often told Miss Marnise I would want my children to be just like hers. This remains true. Then, I didn’t know that she was grooming me with the same care and high expectations as she did her own children. She believes and lives the notion that it takes a village to raise a child. I am thankful to have been a child in her village. Her parenting style stretches beyond her home and permeates the lives of children and families around her. Now as an administrator in a large urban district, I see the lack of social, emotional and spiritual direction among our children. The time is prime for Friendly Not Friends. Two- parent and single-parent families alike need straightforward advice on how to parent the next generation with love and authority.”—Sherri S. Davis, K-12 urban education reformer, EdM, Harvard Graduate School of Education


“Miss Marnise has made a tremendous impact on my family. From working with my son, Manpreet, and me during summer programs at the University of Michigan College of Engineering, to sharing words of wisdom with us and fellow worshippers at our Sikh temple, she has demonstrated her consistent concern for all people. She is definitely a role model for us.”—Parminder Kaur, parent, Canton, MI


"Ms. Marnise has successfully made it to my teacher's hall of fame room as a MVI (Most Valued Instructor), a title currently only held by 3 other teachers. MITE is so lucky to have her as a professional development teacher because of everything she does to improve our professionalism. Mr. Sowder, whatever you do, please never ever never ever never ever get rid of her."
Student evaluation, Summer Engineering Academy,
​University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI



“I have had the privilege and honor to experience up close and personal Marnise and Byron’s “Friendly Not Friends” approach to parenting. Webster’s definition of “friendly” is to show kindly interest and good will. Their three children, Winston, Shelbey and Greer are evidence that “Friendly Not Friends” yields great outcomes and good will. They never confuse being liked by their children with being trusted and respected by their children. This “how to” on being “Friendly Not Friends” assists in equipping seasoned parents, new parents and parents to be with tried and tested strategies that work.”— Lorina Marshall-Blake, president, Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Philadelphia, PA 

​“Success is not a goal, but a byproduct of hard work and discipline. My Aunt Marnise made sure that I never lost sight of that during our sessions. While her methods I perceived to be unfair at one time, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”
—Quintin Sweat, Jr., student, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI

​“The messages that Miss Marnise shares with students and parents can transform a student’s life. Her words of wisdom are inspiring and practical and speak to the issues and concerns that all parents deal with.”​
— Angela Newing, curriculum coordinator, Summer Engineering Academy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


"MS.MARNISE is the BOMB ! She is my grandmother, mother, and friend all in one. She truly shows she cares. She taught me a lot about who people really are and who I am. Ms.Marnise made me believe in myself more than I ever would by myself."
Student evaluation, Summer Engineering Academy,University of Michigan,
​Ann Arbor, MI





Public Organizations
University of Michigan
University of Michigan-Flint
University of Michigan Women's Basketball Team
Michigan State University

Tennessee State University
Lansing Community College (Lansing, MI)
​Washtenaw Community College (Ann Arbor, MI)

​Ann Arbor Public Schools

State of Michigan
​ Michigan Department of Transportation (Lansing, MI)
​Michigan Rehabilitation Services 
​Michigan Career & Technical Institute (Detroit, MI)
​Global Leadership Academy Charter School (Philadelphia, PA)
National Heritage Academies
Keystone Charter Academy (Belleville, MI)
​GEAR UP/Renaissance High School (Detroit, MI) ​

For-Profit Organizations
Independence Blue Cross/IBC Foundation (Philadelphia, PA)
​DCES (Orlando, FL; Charlotte, NC; Memphis, TN)
Genesis Day Care (Lansing, MI) ​

Non-Profit Organizations
​ ​
God’s Christian Women (Philadelphia, PA;
​ ​United Kingdom)
Detroit Country Day School Parents (Beverly Hills, MI)
Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program
Plymouth Christian Academy (Canton, MI)
Plymouth Sikh Temple (Plymouth, MI)
​Thomas Christian Academy (Yazoo City, MS)
​ ​National Association of Black Accountants (Detroit, MI)