ROCKFORD (WREX) — How does one get rich?
That question fueled Ericka Cooper at a young age.
She wanted to do whatever she could to start making money.
"I always wanted to know how I could become a millionaire," Cooper said.
"I would sell purses little knock off stuff here and there."
Born in Chicago, Cooper's family moved to Rockford when she was young.
From there her hustle soon led to the start of her own company, The Cooper Enterprise, when she was 17 years old.
Now an adult and mother to seven kids, The Cooper enterprise has become the umbrella for many other business ventures.
Cooper is a business owner, the lead at A Queen's Boutique and also works with Coats4Kids, a non-profit helping kids in need in the community.
The position of Cooper's that is front of mind at the moment is Own Your Business LLC.
"I teach classes to those who are trying to become business owners as well," Cooper said.
Cooper is grateful to have the opportunity to enlighten others on what she's learned over the years.
In fact, her efforts have been recognized by the State of Illinois.
Cooper was asked by the state to teach kids in the Rockford area about how to get on the path toward business success.
"I think that it's great because with them wanting to start their lives over and I'm able to be a part of that means the world to me."
Cooper's drive has evolved from taking care of herself to taking care of others.
It's a message she wants the entire community to take more seriously.
By helping someone else, a chain reaction is caused, passing onto the next.
"If you can go out into the community and just help one person, you don't know what that person can do for somebody else or what that next person can do," Cooper said.