It wasn't until 2010 – after pulling in $5 million in just over six years – that the 30 year old mustered the courage to walk away from Wall Street. It wasn't just his wealth addiction he was leaving behind, he said, it was "an entire system of beliefs."
When he left, Polk has said, he received calls from colleagues saying they wished they could do the same.
Polk and his girlfriend moved to Los Angeles and got married. Seeing how wealthier people would spend $30 on lunch just a few miles from where families were going hungry, and eating unhealthy, they launched Groceryships – a program that provides scholarships for groceries. Ten low-income families at a time receive healthy food and lessons for leading a healthier lifestyle.
To help get it off the ground, though, Polk turned to his former life, calling up his former Bank of America boss Michael Meyer.
"I said, … 'I think a single Groceryship is going to cost about $3,000 dollars. Are you willing to donate one?'" Polk recalled. "He said 'I'll take 10.' And that’s how Groceryships started."
In April, Polk and his wife gave birth to daughter – their first child. And looking forward, he wants to make sure that she doesn’t have the same sort of tortured existence that he endured.
“I would love it if she felt from the beginning that her life was enough," he said. "That she was enough from the beginning."