After I graduated from CSULB in 2012, I landed my first job as an Associate Investigator for United States Investigative Services (USIS) located in Las Vegas, NV in 2013. I initially applied for the Record Searcher position, which was an entry-level position located in Burbank, CA.
I received a call from USIS explaining the Record Searcher position wasn’t available in Burbank, but there was a higher-level position as an Associate Investigator available in Las Vegas, NV. They offered me the position, and I gladly accepted. When I moved to Las Vegas, I felt that I had to work extra hard to keep everything together.
You got to understand that the Associate Investigator position was my first job ever at 27 years old, and I felt all the hard work I put in from college paid off in a big way. I also felt like I landed a job where people will respect me because I was performing background investigations to help protect my country. Turns out that I got the exact opposite because I struggled the whole time while living in Las Vegas.
During this time, I began to question why did God bless me with a job where I had to struggle every day. I began to question my own abilities, how come I wasn’t smart enough to do this type of job and what did I do wrong to deserve this because I thought I’ve been through enough already being a two-time cancer survivor and hip amputee.
I was only at USIS for three months and resigned because I couldn’t understand the job thoroughly, and it took a toll on my physical disability. Being a failure while living in Las Vegas was the worst experience I’ve ever had to go through, besides having cancer twice and getting my right leg amputated. I was unhappy, bitter, didn’t care about my appearance and stayed in my apartment which was always dark because I felt the most comfortable in a dark environment.
I landed other jobs that didn’t work out such as selling legal services for Legal Shield in 2013, and I was a debt collector in 2014. When I was selling legal services, one of my co-workers asked me why I was limping while walking. I told him I am a two-time cancer survivor, I lost my right leg to cancer, and now I’m a hip amputee. He asked my age, and at the time I was 27 years old. He said I’ve endured a lot of hardships already at such young age.
Once I told my co-worker about my life story. He expressed to me along with selling legal services; he was also a Substitute Teacher, Life Coach, and Mentor. He also said he would consult me doing his Life Coach services for free. I decided to leave Legal Shield because I wasn’t making enough commission, and I began meeting with my new Life Coach regularly.
When we would meet up, he would encourage me to become a substitute teacher, but being a teacher wasn’t resonating with me. Then he came up with the idea of me becoming an inspirational speaker because I have a unique story to tell.
Public speaking was way out of my comfort zone, it terrified me, and I hated when I was forced to do it in school. I went home and thought about what my Life Coach said and realized that I have a unique story to tell that could help others who have been through similar situations. I created a PowerPoint Presentation explaining my experience with cancer, and I called my Mother and asked her to mail me all the pictures from when I was sick when I was 14 and 17 years old.
While putting my PowerPoint together, I felt that something was missing and it was my connection with the inFAMOUS videogame franchise and superhero Cole MacGrath.
When I first approached my Life Coach with my new and improved PowerPoint. I was nervous because I thought he was going to judge me because I was talking about my connection with a video game character. It turned out that he liked how creative I was bridging my experiences and realities with cancer to the digital world of inFAMOUS and Cole.
I told him I connected with the fact that Cole had the choice of being a superhero or supervillain. For example, Cole had the choice to save what’s left of the world or destroy it. This helped me make a decision: to think positive and do something to help myself, or stay in a dark and depressing place because I didn’t have control of my situation.