top of page


Gaslighting My Future

by Aujene-Jecole

If I could do anything in the world to become a millionaire, I would work at a gas station. This is a dream I have held onto ever since I have graduated high school. Born and raised in Las Vegas I have witnessed the growth of commercial chains around the city. I have steadily kept my focus on the franchising industry and now I finally see a rapid boom of new businesses almost everywhere. The economic flow of Las Vegas and the story of Alyson Rae Lawson, one of the first black franchise owners of 7-eleven, have truly inspired me to never give up.

You have to begin somewhere. Alyson is the first person in her family to franchise the 7-Eleven gas station. When Alyson began this journey I asked her what did she do when she didn’t know something. Alyson was always reminded to keep her head up and to remember that when you see an opportunity make the best of it. Alyson would walk into meetings for the 7-Eleven opportunities regardless of what she didn’t know. Her thoughts were “ It can be intimidating because half of the people in a room think you don’t deserve it”. Nevertheless, she always walked with her head high and never let anyone see her sweat.

Alyson Ray Lawson had no idea that she was making history and inspiring me when she became the first black 7-Eleven franchise owner in Texas. After Alyson finish college she emerged herself into the corporate world. Although Alyson loved corporate America she came across many issues of discrimination. According to Alyson “it just wasn’t a place for a Young African-American to thrive in.”. She experienced A true culture shock and had come to a point in her life where she was ready to be her own boss. Seeking new opportunities Alyson had to put on her entrepreneur hat. Alyson practice her strategies of networking and utilized her College refund checks in her savings to take a leap of faith by investing in 7-Eleven.

When I was 10 years old I used to play in a pile of dirt next to the sidewalk on my way home from school. It was a desert full of sand that went beyond the horizon. Exactly 7 years later, A 7-Eleven franchise was built on top of that dirt within three months. I always wondered how much money the store made. And I’ll never forget how it started off as nothing but a pile of dirt. The location of the 7-Eleven has generated a lot of money. I often thought to myself where people would go if the 7-Eleven didn’t exist. So many lightbulbs begin to spark in my mind. Since then I have been doing my research. I want a generational breakthrough for my family by becoming the first franchise 7-Eleven owner. If I open my own 7-Eleven in Las Vegas, I would be the first black woman to franchise 7-Eleven. Interviewing Alyson gave me so much hope because it let me know that it’s possible me for also.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All