Dr. Marlene Mahipat never forgets where she came from. Moving from Trinidad to the United States in 1990 with $300 and two suitcases, she figured out that successful people had an education.
“I realized that all of the people who had nice cars and houses and good jobs had an education, had a degree,” Mahipat said. She worked two jobs and went to school fulltime often studying in the library until the early morning because she couldn’t afford textbooks. But she said through all of the struggles, she was able to get out of her small village and poverty to owning and running her own business.
Mahipat is the President and Founder of Mediquest, LLC in Randalstown. She also runs two nonprofits, one focused on helping people and one on animals.
Her Helping Orphans Prosper Everywhere (H.O.P.E.) focuses on assisting children and families in need, including the homeless, elderly and disabled. Each year it helps provide close to 800 customized backpacks with school supplies for children. When she distributes the backpacks, she tells the children her story and tells them their future is in the backpack.
Maybe there is a student interested in science, but hadn’t had a calculator before or a student interested in art, but didn’t have crayons. H.O.P.E. can help with that and give them the opportunity to succeed.
“If one child were to excel, or to get to someplace like (where I’ve gotten), my hope is that they would continue what I’m doing and realize they are able to do this just with education,” Mahipat said. “I didn’t have any other tools. I didn’t have parents here. I slept on the streets. I didn’t have food. I didn’t have somebody I could go to.”
She stores things in her purse, which is actually a bag she got at the Women Presidents’ Organization convention, in zip-lock bags because she hates digging for things and it helps keep things together. She has a bag of items she can give to a homeless person that has snacks, a small bottle of water and some cash.
She also carries a leash and a can of cat food because she is often helping stray animals. Her other nonprofit is People Letting Every Animal Survive Euthanasia (P.L.E.A.S.E). She is often setting traps for feral cats and participates in trap-neuter-release programs or will chase down a stray dog.
“The two nonprofits really started from my own story; from my own passion” Mahipat said.
1. The purse: Is a bag she received at the Women Presidents’ Organization convention. “This bag is more me because I’m very low key and kind of earthy,” Mahipat said.
2. Sunglasses – She calls them her John Lennon shades. She found the frames at a store on Edmundson Ave. and worked with her eye doctor to have her prescription lenses made to fit the frames.
3. Leash and cat food – in case she needs to help an animal for her nonprofit P.L.E.A.S.E.
4. A smaller purse with wallet etc.
5. Bag of snacks, water and cash she can give someone who is homeless or needs it.
6. Her keys. She has the large white fluffy puff because it makes them easier to find and it also helps if she needs to attract a cat she is trying to rescue.
7. A chiropractor tool and acupuncture needles for dry needling.
8. “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks – The latest book she is reading.
9. The program from the Leading Up Women’s President conference.
10. Victoria’s Secrets mints.
|This article is featured in The Daily Record’s Women Who Lead: A Woman’s Guide To Business. The mission of the Women Who Lead (formerly Path to Excellence) magazine is to give our readers the opportunity to meet successful women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs and learn how they define success. Read more from Women Who Lead.|