“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I'm a hustler. Resourceful. Clever. Scrappy.

I've been hustling since I was a kid. I've been blessed with the ability to take things that others have tossed aside and make them worthy of attention. From repurposing materials for school projects and thrifting from second-hand stores to create new outfits, to exploring the world beyond my backyard by participating in every free community program — hustling has helped me thrive, regardless of limited resources.

Living life with this mindset keeps me humble. I will pick up the penny on the sidewalk that others continue to step on, as many still make a dollar. Unlike most, I also have the fortitude to find ninety-nine more.

Hustling is my competitive advantage. My survival to date has depended on it, and I know my impact on society will be as a result of it. I will continue to extract value for my community and must instill the same mentality in my extended family.

So no, I've never been on a street corner. But (road) blocks continue to motivate me. Where others see a challenge, I seize the opportunity — 'cause that's what we hustlers do.

— Stephanie Belcher