Mead Alum and His Crowdfunded Island Make National News
What book would you want on hand if you were "stranded" on your very own island? Marshall Mayer, Mead Alum '05, would stow away a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. And as it turns out, he actually can!
We recently caught up with Marshall after his former Mead teacher, Joy Lenters, came across a CNN.com article that he's featured in, "They bought a Caribbean island to start their own country."
What started as a conversation among friends became an ambitious reality when Marshall and now co-founders of Islandia (Coffee Caye, Belize) began the process of crowdfunding the island in 2018. The Principality of Islandia is a micronation experiment whose investors have shared aspirations of using the island to "forward the ideals of democracy, inclusion, and sustainability." Check out Marshall's venture and everything about the island and its current and future plans on his website, letsbuyanisland.com.
After graduating Mead, Marshall attended Staples High School in Westport and Washington University in St. Louis ('13). After college, he spent two years working in the Philippines, where he started the now-defunct Young Pioneer Disaster Response (YPDR), which did disaster response for typhoon victims. In two years the organization built more than 1,500 homes for typhoon survivors, rebuilt seven schools, did educational programs for 6,000+ kids and conducted medical missions for over 3,000 people. They also worked in rebuilding coral reefs (artificial reefs) to rejuvinate the seas. Marshall then moved on to spend nearly 7 years in investment banking.
In addition to owning and working on his Island project, Marshall is currently working at DailyPay, a startup FinTech company that helps workers get access to their earned pay before payday - disrupting payday loans and giving more financial flexibility and freedom to hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. He also serves on the board of a new company called FitJab (www.fitjab.io) in Kyrgyzstan, central Asia, which is building a lifestyle brand to support health, fitness, and mindfulness for Muslim women across the Muslim world.
We asked Marshall what he gained from his Mead School experience that stays with him today:
Advocate for yourself! You might not always get what you want but you certainly won't succeed if you don't try. Always speak up for yourself and know your worth.
CLICK HERE for a hyperlapse video of Marshall's paradise.