Jessica Pulice, 19, grew up in a supportive and protective family, but admits her lows made her depressed.
She joined the military after high school and had dreamed of serving her country. But after falling pregnant as a teenager, she found herself working menial jobs to support her son, and growing desperate. Pulice describes herself as having a low self-esteem and was constantly thinking about ways to provide for her young son.
The Army recruiter took an interest in Pulice, and eventually asked her if she’d be interested in joining the Marine Corps. Pulice politely declined, saying she’d only consider it after having her son.
Shortly afterward, a friend told Pulice about a job at a Walmart in Tukwila, Washington, one of the largest retail chains in the country. Her friends and family were skeptical. Many questioned whether Pulice could handle the pressure, but Pulice was determined to make it work. She applied and got hired. She was paid about $10 an hour and lived with two other women.
“Every day is terrifying,” Pulice said. “It’s a lot of pressure on one person to be the manager at a Walmart store.”
But Pulice has taken on the role.
“I think I’m very capable of handling it,” she said. “I feel like it’s no big deal to me. I just have to remember that I’m safe out there.”