Dyonne Hayes

Reservation Agent

Location: Camden, NJ

"I had to reestablish a foundation for my family, which was growing at one end and falling apart at the other."

I was 25 and raising a child whose father had been murdered. I was also in a long-term relationship with a man whose child I was carrying when he suddenly hated to love me. I decided that I was better, bigger, bolder, brighter and more beautiful than the horrific reality of my surroundings and I decided to lean in.

It was time to get off the floor and take the stage. I had to reestablish a foundation for my family, which was growing at one end and falling apart at the other. I knew there would be failures and accomplishments, and I was ready for both.

I re-enrolled at the community college in the area and completed my associate's degree in hospitality and tourism management. I began to apply for jobs and interview in multiple states. I have worked in school cafeterias, door-to-door sales, department stores, female corrections and now a hotel in my pursuit to forge a path in the hospitality and tourism industry.

I have found such happiness and fulfillment in pursuing a career in hospitality. Having worked for a family business and earning better wages in fields that bored me to death, I find great pleasure in being part of a memorable experience in the lives of so many families and guests. Somehow ends met, and my family has come together.