By Guest Blogger Markiss Cooper, owner/partner, iHAUL
I became a father at the early age of 16. I was soon paying child support, which is tough when you’re a kid and you’re still in high school. In no time at all, I was $3,000 in debt and that debt just kept growing. I dropped out of high school so I could work. As you can imagine, that debt stacked up and I was on an uphill battle just to survive, much less find a path forward.
Fast forward, I got my high school diploma and started community college where I earned my associates degree. During that time, I got married and we have a wonderful 7-year old daughter.
I moved to Tacoma where I worked in a charter school where things were very tumultuous. My uncle introduced me to Tim at Sound Outreach and with Tim, who runs united Way’s Center for Strong Families. Right away, I connected with Tim—he’s someone I can really talk with. I got myself set up with a financial coach, went through literacy training. I grew my savings while I improved my credit score. These may seem like small things, but they grew into bigger things.
For example, my credit score went from the low 500s to the high 700’s. Once I understood more about what I could do with the assets I had, then it opened up my eyes to other possibilities.
I was so proud the day I could buy a 2012 Sierra pick up. Because you see, I had always been entrepreneurial and taken on odd jobs to help people move things and it was Tim who planted the seed in me. What if I could start my own business?
That’s exactly what I did. In January 2018, iHAUL, was launched--the hardest working logistics partner in South Puget Sound. It’s true. Today, I am running my own business. It’s a small start-up with big ideas. We provide White Glove Delivery Service, Room-of-Choice Service for Residential and Commercial Deliveries. Each of my team members are expertly trained, hard-working and honest home delivery movers, who are just as dedicated to their work.
They’re like most people who struggle but work hard. I am proof that you can reach your goals and I am grateful for United Way’s Center for Strong Families and for Sound Outreach for taking a chance on me. It was also one best decisions I’ve ever made. Besides marrying my wife and having our family together.