Editor’s Note:Stina Marshall was on track to help the world, just like “every other person in history,” until life threw a curveball her way. Now she’s on a different path- her own path- to make the world a better place.
At 18 years old I started working retail and attending college- like every other person in history. I had a dream to become a lawyer, help the world, and work hard- like every other person in history. I loved school and was excited for adulthood, lame college life, and eating poor food- unlike every other person in history.
But I became pregnant, left school, and started working fulltime to save for the child that would soon be in my arms. It took me an entire year (the pregnancy and then some) to cope and understand that my plans were put on hold to care for my beautiful daughter. My mind could not wrap itself around the fact that my high school AP courses and my life plan that was written in stone had all suddenly gone out the window. I worked harder than ever to move up as fast as I could to provide more money for my family.
Hustling 8 hour shifts (on good days), 6 days a week, and juggling a newborn every moment outside of that, I became an Assistant Manager in less than a year and a Store Manager shortly thereafter. I continued to hustle with CEOs, Visual Teams, Marketing Teams, and customers alike to secure my role within the company.
Then, in the drop of a hat, I was a single parent.
I was flying solo with an eighteen-month-old child, no local family, and a job that required 60+ hours a week of me. Yet again, time to hustle. I quickly networked to find proper care for my daughter and a job that required less work- or so I thought. I hustled to find places to live, work my way to a salary that could provide school for my daughter, a home, and still allow me to put organic foods on the table. I hustled through tears, through worry, and through 3 years of raising Lena on my own.
At 24, my plans have changed. I no longer wish to become a lawyer and change the world- like every other person in history. Now, I want to raise my daughter to be compassionate, loving, kind-natured, and driven. But while I am raising her, I also wish to help raise other single parents- out of doubt, out of debt, and onto the right path.
I want to provide hope and a home for single parents working to raise their children. I have been hustling to network, write a business plan, and raise funds to start my Single Parent Home and Community in San Francisco. At the same time, I am hustling to further my education to motivate other single parents to do the same. Like most people in history, I still want to help the world.
Unlike most people in history, I am driven to be a hustler and make it happen.