Home / Business / From working in a donut shop to the Federal Reserve: Mary Daly's unlikely trip

From working in a donut shop to the Federal Reserve: Mary Daly's unlikely trip

That's not because Daly is just the second female president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve's 105-year history. It's also not that she is the first openly gay woman to lead any Fed bank.

What really makes Daly stand out from her peers is the unlikely trip she took to get to the top of the economy.

At 15 years old, Daly dropped out of high school, which she found "distant and uninteresting", as her family was dealing with a series of health and financial emergencies. With his family in chaos, Daly found himself helping to taste the donuts at the grandparents' donut shop in Ballwin, Missouri.

"If you asked me then: Did I think it was in my future? The answer was absolutely not," Daly told CNN's Poppy Harlow in an interview with Boss Files. "I thought my future included being a bus driver. And it would have been a really good job, but I was lucky."

Daly's family did not have much money. They were always just an emergency away from falling through the cracks.

"I drowned, frankly"

But Daly was lifted back when Betsy, a successful woman in her thirties who was a friend of Daly's supervisor, took the teen under her wing.

Betsy encouraged Daly to get his GED. She even wrote a $ 21

6 check to cover the cost of Daly's first semester of college.

"A check, a small amount to a person, can change everything," Daly said.

But Daly almost didn't make it through college, a place she felt she didn't belong to. Daly failed her courses and felt too "embarrassed" to ask for help.

"I drowned, to be honest. I was overwhelmed," she said.

  Mary Daly, President of the San Francisco Federal Reserve, calls herself

Eventually, Daly gathered the courage to ask for teacher help from the learning center, where the staff embraced her.

"This learning center experience is really the experience you can have in life, Sa Daly." Yes, there will be people who say you can't, but they will be a lot more people who say you can. But you have to ask. "

" Escape Speed ​​"

Daly earned her bachelor's degree in economics and philosophy from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1985. That was when she achieved what she calls her "refugee rate."

"In the environment you grow up in, you often need enough speed, enough speed, enough oompf, to actually break away from it," Daly said. . "

Daly would later earn her master's degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, as well as her doctorate from Syracuse University, where she gave the address to earlier this year.

1996 Daly joined to The San Francisco Fed, where she led her robust research department, and last year she took the helm of the regional bank, which was once led by her mentor Janet Yellen, former chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Looking back, Daly knows that her success would not have been possible without the help of Betsy and others around her.

"They stopped thinking of me as a statistic and started thinking of me as a person," Daly said. "I'm probably one of the happier people in the world … So many people helped me. I just want to earn a high return for all these people."

Although Daly is the embodiment of the American dream, she worries about the structural gaps that prevent others from achieving similar success stories today.

Daly pointed to uneven access to education as one of the major obstacles holding back the US economy. If educational performance cannot be equated, she argued, there will not be enough people working in the highest demand.

"We will resign ourselves to a future of slow growth if we do not activate all these individuals and give them opportunities," Daly said.

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