When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Ericka Lassair left a successful job in finance to start a business that would help rebuild her hometown. She opened Diva Dawg, a Creole-inspired hot dog restaurant, in 2012 to local fanfare. A year later, competition drove her out of business, and Lassair took some time to figure out what to do next. Diva Dawg was reborn as a food truck in the fall of 2014. The business, which now includes the truck and a stall at a food market, has become a local hit, but Lassair has her sights set on national success. Last year, Ericka was selected from over 500+ applicants for the competitive Tory Burch Fellows Program.

Last year, Ericka was selected from over 500+ applicants for the competitive Tory Burch Fellows Program. With mentorship from the Foundation, Ericka continues to grow and scale her business.

Read Ericka’s personal story of turning failure into success on Cosmopolitan.com.