By Aaron Martin, Strategic Partnership Advisor at DailyPay
Juneteenth makes me think of progress: how far we’ve come collectively, where we’ve been, and how far we still have to go.
For context, my parents were born in the Jim Crow South, where state and local laws were put in place that inflicted segregation and denied equality and political rights. My family was around for the tail end of it and the stories that I’ve heard from them and my grandparents still bring me to tears.
Making progress and pulling ourselves out from the bottom was always top of mind for my family. My father’s hope was to eventually make it out of South Carolina and build a better life for himself and the people he loved. He lived on a farm, would pick cotton in the summer and he told me he would dream of one day going far from there physically and mentally. Luckily for us (and New York Giants fans), he was 6 feet 5 inches and 260lbs, so he eventually got off that farm, made it to the University of Oregon and had a 14-year-long career with the New York Giants.
Throughout his career, he stressed the importance of financial freedom, being educated and giving back. After a career in the NFL, he transitioned into a career in financial services, working to provide a roadmap for athletes looking to achieve financial security and independence.
The progress that he made and the freedom that he had, both financially and otherwise, shaped who I am today. This is why I chose to work at a company like DailyPay, which provides financial wellness benefits to everyday Americans to boost their financial health. Thinking of how far African Americans have come and dreaming of the potential of where we can go, I know from firsthand experience that financial clarity is key to unlocking that potential.
Based on my experience, payday loans, high-interest credit cards and check-cashing places tend to prey on people of color, which in turn keeps them in the margins. I want to be a part of the change and help provide a roadmap for people who wanted to gain control of their financial future. At DailyPay, winning with diversity is one of our core values and you feel that throughout everything that the company does.
I don’t take anything for granted, and I value cultures that are supportive, innovative and believe in their people. So when I think about Juneteenth and about all the progress we have made, I’m excited for what the future holds.