I’m from a middle-class family that has never been financially stable. My parents sacrificed everything to provide their children the highest quality of life possible, making just enough to keep a roof over our heads. Between ballet, violin lessons, horseback riding, musical theatre, art classes, television and film auditions and model casting calls; it’s a wonder they could afford to send my sister to school to pursue her theatre degree. When it came time for me to graduate high school, there was nothing left for them to contribute to another college tuition.
Though I took several college classes in high school, after graduation, I took several gap years to pursue a career in modeling, financing my way through with credit cards. I modeled for various agencies and designers in Houston, Dallas, New York City, Sydney and San Francisco. This is an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world and am incredibly thankful to my parents for their undying support.
From joining such a fast-paced and volatile industry at a young age, I learned vital things about myself and matured exponentially; an integral part of who I am today. Unfortunately, the pay was never consistent and when I moved to San Francisco, I needed a more regular income. I took up various odd-jobs such as dog walking, nannying, hostessing, and brand ambassador work; however, it wasn’t enough. I felt the gap in my academic experience that would make finding a more reliable career difficult.
I enrolled as a part time psychology student with the hopes of one day joining the research community. I was still working at the time and living with a partner who constantly questioned my decisions and financial contributions to the relationship. Realizing it would be years before I was established and capable of producing an income through my chosen area of study, I was discouraged from completing the path I’d set out on. I reluctantly quit school and brainstormed how I might immediately land a job that could, not only provide a satisfactory income for the stability of my relationship, but make me happy.
After career and life planning while consulting with those who knew me best, I decided to become an executive assistant. I was hired by my favorite global online fashion brand! Much to my dismay, I was severely underpaid and poorly treated for the two years I stayed with the company which led to my decision to leave in Fall 2019.
Juggling a heartbreaking split from a controlling and abusive partner, the financial challenges of living alone and recently unemployed, I made plans to reenter the workforce…then COVID-19 hit. I was in the final stages of interviewing with several companies when California entered lockdown. I was dispirited, frustrated and concerned for my future.
I’m a strong believer that there are no regrets in life, only lessons learned. I learned that I love supporting executives, have a thirst for business knowledge and hope to one day support an executive knowing that I could fill their shoes with the understanding needed to run the company myself. This is why I am pursuing my B.S.B.A.
Others’ opinions, my own uncertainty and financial hardships may have deterred me in the past, but not now. I may be late in achieving my college degree as my educational journey has been met with a fair share of challenges; but, as they say, “slow and steady wins the race”. I can’t do this alone though.
Across 14 credit cards, I have over $13,000 in debt. It may not seem like much compared to others with student loans and mortgages, but it is astronomical for me and I cannot apply for loans or debt relief programs given my low credit score. Finding work has been extremely difficult in the time of COVID-19 and given my limited experience. Now that I am a student, it has become even harder to find pay that fits my schedule. I just need to pay my credit card bills on time to pull myself out of this debt, afford my tuition, and begin saving money for my future. Currently, every penny I have is going towards credit card bills that grow faster than I can afford and my parents can no longer financially support me given their own financial instability. I pray that you will consider donating a little to help me through this difficult time because I have nowhere else to turn. Thank you!