By Reema Makdessi
Strategic Partnerships Executive at DailyPay
As an immigrant to this country, July 4th holds a special place in my heart.
It’s a time to celebrate and reflect upon how fortunate we are to live in a country where hard work can lead to limitless possibilities. A country where dreams do come true. Where a young girl from Syria can one day grow to work in FinTech and help change the lives of millions of hard-working people and honor the legacy of her family.
My family and I came to this country in 1976. We had nothing but family. We were fortunate enough to be surrounded by a community that helped each other seek employment, housing, etc. My father was the sole provider, working three jobs around the clock so that my mother could look after us. When we were old enough to go to school, my mother found a job as a factory worker. Both parents did not speak English and relied on me to translate.
I was old enough to remember the time my father did not have enough money to pay rent and asked our landlord to wait until the end of the week when he was paid to pay her. That did not sit well with her and so she turned off our heat and we had no hot water. This was during the coldest months of winter and she started the eviction process.
I will never forget how hard it was for my parents to put aside their pride and reach out to my uncle for assistance between paychecks. It wasn’t just for financial assistance but rather a temporary request to stay with them so that we had hot water and a warm bed — just until my father was able to pay the rent.
The problem was he earned the money — but he just didn’t have access to it.
For many people, not having the means to obtain your earned income can do a lot of damage in so many ways. When you’re struggling financially, fear and stress can take over your world, which can leave you with a sense of despair, damaging your self-esteem, and making you feel like a failure.
Every American worker should have access to their earned income. How amazing it is that years later, I have the chance to be part of the team that is helping to rewrite the invisible rules of money and change the financial system for the better for everyone.
That’s what DailyPay is all about.
The concept is actually quite simple — giving American workers the ability to access their earned income at any time. My company, DailyPay, partners with America’s top employers to offer this benefit that is so profound for employees, it can be life-changing. With DailyPay, they can pay bills on their own schedule and avoid financially crippling options such as payday loans, etc. It’s a service I wish my dad had when I was growing up.
For me, DailyPay represents a light that can help shine the pathway to a better life. A pathway that is paved with hard work and optimism. And hope for the future.
At DailyPay we call it “pulling the wagon.” It’s a value that is part of our corporate DNA and permeates everything we do. We define it as knowing that winning takes teamwork, perseverance and innovation, not egos. It celebrates the notion of pitching in and doing whatever it takes to move the company forward.
Today, I’m proud to work for a company that recognizes and cherishes the value of hard work and selflessness. It strikes such a personal chord with me as I was raised in a household that prized similar values with wonderful role models in my parents and uncle.
It is for them that I’m honored to help make the lives of the new generation of immigrants a little easier.