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carlina shotwell

We had the pleasure of interviewing a lovely serial entrepreneur BOSS located in Greenville, NC. Let’s see what she has to say!

Tell us about yourself!

I grew up in Pitt County, North Carolina with a childhood experience less favorable than the average child. I spent the majority of my life within the foster care system moving from home to home. Despite the ups and downs, I always remained hopeful for a brighter future. I was the first of my biological family to receive my high school diploma and later three college degrees including two Associates from Pitt Community College and a Bachelor's Degree from North Carolina Central University with Cum Laude status. I am very passionate about helping current and former foster youth. For the past thirteen years, I have volunteered with the Pitt County Department of Social Services, as well as several nonprofits tailored to youth in care. During my time with DSS, I have been involved in amazing historical improvements within the foster care system such as the 18-21-Year-Old Program. This program provides former youth in care the opportunity to become academically successful by providing financial assistance as well as stable housing. I personally can relate to the struggles of trying to complete my academic requirements while experiencing financial strain and an unstable environment.

Assisting with the early stage developments of this monumental program that is now a statewide youth in care program and witnessing how it has made a difference for my fellow youth in care has been a highlight of my life. Growing up within the foster care system brought about many challenges as I approached adulthood. One such challenge was financial illiteracy. The lack of knowledge regarding how to manage my finances and personal credit, motivated me to educate myself in order to ensure that I make better choices. I later became a personal credit specialist and CEO of Heritage Financial Co.; a credit restoration company that teaches individuals how to increase their approval odds, build a solid credit profile, and gain overall financial well-being for years to come.

As an entrepreneur, I consider my most valuable traits to be my high level of honesty and transparency, as well as my ability and drive to educate, motivate, inspire, and mentor others. These traits, along with others, have allowed me to become, not only a successful CEO of Heritage Financial Co, but also a business credit specialist and co-owner of 4ever Wealthy Capital, which is a business funding company that teaches entrepreneurs how to leverage their skills, build a solid business foundation, and gain guaranteed business funding within their first 6 months. Having the opportunity to continue helping my community on a larger scale has and forever will be a continued privilege and an honor.

Who or what is your number one motivator and why?

This is always a tough question for me to truly answer, only because I honestly motivate myself. I am the woman I am today because of each and every one of my foster parents and I am truly proud of my hard work and dedication. I have spent many years reaching out to foster youth and giving them the hope to continue past foster care and reach for their dreams just as I did. My passion has the ability to now reach even further by assisting individuals and entrepreneurs with achieving their goals.

If you can name one person that helped you get to where you are now, who would that person be and how did they help you?

My main motivator and strength come from the Lord. As a child I would continuously question, “Why me Lord?” whilst moving from foster home to foster home. This mindset began to fade as I got older and learned that the Lord doesn’t put more on us than we can bear. The Lord placed the strength in me as a young girl to walk this path with confidence and determination. I’m proud to say I have done just that.

If you could give a piece of advice to someone who aspires to become an entrepreneur, what would your advice be?

Many entrepreneurs begin their journey towards launching their business and immediately want the ability to be offered grants (free money) and/or business loans to scale. Accomplishing the number one goal of leveraging OPM (other people's money) can be harder than what many people think without a strategic plan. Consult with a professional to guide you with the necessary steps to achieve your financial goals for your business.

What do you like to do in your free time?

My free time consists of spending time with my two children; Adrian (10 years old) and Xavier (2 years old). I also enjoy volunteering with my non profit Fostering Journeys, which is geared towards helping current and former foster youth with resources to achieve a positive experience during and after foster care.

How can the community get in touch with you?

To stay connected with Carlina Shotwell, follow her social media handles below:

Facebook: Carlinashotwell

Instagram: Carlina_shotwell

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