Yellow Cab So Worth It Spotlight:
Mika Fabella—poster girl for #thehustleisreal!
Try as you might, you can’t pin Mika Fabella down. “I’m a writer-dance teacher-dance scholar-performer-filmmaker-producer-event host, and now, an occasional commercial talent. It simply depends on which card I’m going to play at any given time,” she declares.
When Mika needs a break, she spends her evenings introverting at home or playing games with close friends. “Yellow Cab is usually my default pizza place, especially during Fridays when I spend game nights with friends and the pizza promos are out. Thanks to Dear Darla, it’s also one of our healthier pizza delivery options.” As part of the So Worth It Squad, Mika’s story is one of hustling against all odds and finding the courage to chase your dreams.
Mika was only a year away from finishing grade school when financial troubles hit her family, leading to her parents’ separation. Suddenly, Mika’s mother became a single mom with four children. Mika, the eldest child, stopped schooling to focus on taking care of her three younger siblings while her mom did her very best to provide for all of them. While her former classmates went on to high school—going to classes, doing sports and attending prom—Mika was busy looking after her younger siblings and teaching them how to read, write and do math. While acting as their second mom, Mika also tried to read as much as she could about everything and anything. Like a lot of teens, she was passionate about dance, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and gaming. She dreamt of one day going back to school.
Due to her family’s financial issues, Mika was already working full-time at an age when her peers were just starting college. Mika worked as an assistant, ESL teacher, writer, and took on other jobs to help her family and save some money. She even took up ballet! She hustled hard so that one day she could go to college. “Of course, there were times I wanted to give up,” Mika revealed. “I started quite late in ballet, at 17 years old. That’s the age most ballerinas start going professional, and I was still taking classes with kids half my age.”
Hunger for knowledge
“There was a point where I thought I’d just give up trying to go back to school. I felt like I was wasting my time with all the barriers I was encountering. I even thought that these barriers were signs that maybe I shouldn’t go back to school. Too many times I thought it was too late for me, just like in ballet.” But Mika knew that getting an education was worth it not just for her, but for her siblings who looked up to her. So Mika took the Department of Education’s ALS A&E Test. She passed and received a diploma which qualified her to enroll in UP—at the age of 23.
“There was a time I thought I’d never be a professional dancer and there was also a time I thought I’d never go back to school. Today, I have a degree in Dance, and graduated with honors from my dream university, the one and only university I applied to,” Mika said. “The fact that I’m here now at 30, happy with my career decisions and independent lifestyle, is what makes everything so worth it. Everything I went through was essential to becoming who I am today. I’m thankful I have an interesting story to tell and share with others, and I can present myself as evidence that eventually, they’ll overcome their struggles too.”
Mika has hustled harder and longer than many of her peers, which is often tiring. “I do go through bouts of anxiety and negativity. When this happens, I actually just let myself be. I let myself feel those emotions and allow myself that validity. But only for a bit. After I let go and come to the realization that there’s absolutely nothing I can do about the situation, then I tell myself to starting thinking of my next step.”
Mika continues to work hard and challenges herself to try different things. She is currently a reporter for the ESPN5 team and is also part of A Hero’s Call, a group of cosplayers who have banded together to raise awareness for social issues using geek culture. For all those who are still hustling for what they believe is worth it, she says, “I believe that it all goes back to your why. Why do you do what you do? Your why is your very core and foundation. Your why is what you’re fighting for every single day. If you’re unhappy with your why or it sounds wrong, maybe you’re on the wrong path or have to reassess your values. If you are happy with your why and fulfilled with your professional and personal environment, then you’re most likely on the right track!”
So what is Mika most looking forward to as a member of Yellow Cab’s So Worth It Squad? “Eating!” she laughs. “I’m looking forward to inspiring others to keep going, no matter how long or how different their path may be. To be able to do that through pizza is a huge party-sized bonus!”
Yellow Cab Pizza’s So Worth It Squad series is a celebration of dreamers, artists, hustlers, and believers. To read more stories of grit and hustle that are so worth it, visit: https://www.yellowcabpizza.com/soworthitsquad/