Sofia Vergara on what motivates her: 'I was a single mother very young'

Before she was celebrity Sofia Vergara, Sofia Vergara was just a regular old Sofia. She was a dental student and a young mother, planning for the future and trying to figure out how to make her finances work for herself and her young son. “It’s not so nice to say it, but you need money to do things,” she said while speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle onstage at AOL Build. “I couldn’t have taken my son to college with the love I had for him.”

It was being a single mom in her early 20s that really had a lasting impact, especially on how she thought about herself and her finances. “One of the things that drove me in my life and my career is that I was a single mother very young,” she said. “It was money. I knew that I needed money to feel independent, to have control of my life. I moved to the United States for that dream, to get money to be able to send my son to a great college, trips, health care. My family in Colombia needed help, and so I always knew that I needed that.”

Two decades later, Vergara is now the highest-paid woman in television, and has been for the past six years — she made $41.5 million last year. She’s taken care of herself, she’s taken care of her son and her family, and now she’s giving back to other women.

Through her just-launched subscription underwear company, EBY, Vergara is giving 10 percent of all proceeds to the Seven Bar Foundation, a not-for-profit that raises money to provide women in poverty with microloans with which to start their own businesses. It’s a mission, and a component of EBY, that Vergara notes as crucial.

“I had to make money, and to me that’s why it’s so important that with this business that I am giving business to other women, so that they can start their journey and help their family,” Vergara said. “I was always motivated by that, by having that safety net.” And now she’s giving the gift of that safety net to others.

Check out the rest of the interview below:

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