There are so many factors that affect how our lives turn out, but one of the most interesting is how our backgrounds give us unique strengths and perspectives that affect who we are as adults. We asked rising stars from the community to tell us about their background and upbringing and how they feel it’s impacted who they are today.

Darnell Lindsey | Comedian

I’M FROM THE WESTSIDE OF CHICAGO BORN AND RISE.I GROW UP IN THE NORTH LAWNDALE AREA . WHEN I FIRST STARTED DOING COMEDY A LOT OF PEOPLE DIDN’T BELIEVE ME. BUT I KEPT GOING AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING KEPT BEING CONSISTENT AND GOT BETTER AS A COMEDIAN AS I KEPT PUTTING OUT VIDEOS. I STARTED TO GO HARDER ONES I STARTED TO MAKING MONEY OFF VIDEOS. SO I IMPROVED IN MY COMEDY SO PEOPLE CAN RELATE TO IT. ALSO PEOPLE LOVE RELATIONSHIPS ME AND MY WIFE SITE A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR BLACK LOVE AND BLACK COMEDY WE ARE RELATABLE TO OTHER PEOPLE RELATIONSHIPS SO THEY SUPPORT WHAT WE DO. Read more>>

Karynn Wright-Hough | Talent Agent

Originally from Buffalo, New York I grew with parents both in education. My dad was a science teacher and my mom was Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the University of New York at Buffalo. They both showed me not just the value of education but the importance of helping people in the community. They both served unselfishly though out Western New York and were known for their numerous contributions. Nicknamed “The born leader” by a family friend I lead by the same example and integrity I had been taught all my life. Read more>>

Chelsee Rowe | Clothing Line Designer

Originally From Gadsden, Alabama, born in the early 90’s, I wouldn’t describe my life as privileged but I will describe it as the best of both worlds. Raised on the Eastside of Gadsden with my grandparents, at that time my life was innocent, filled with fun and games. My grandmother was a seamstress and worked as a Fabric department associate at Walmart & my grandfather owned a restaurant at the time & hustled on the side anything he could. As a child, My grandmother taught me how to use a sewing machine & how to hand sew & put different materials together. On the other hand, taught how to make a hustle out of anything.. After experiencing and growing in the city I made up my mind I wanted to start my own lane. Read more>>

Sheena BrownB Towns | Licensed Cosmetologist & Educator/Brown BeautyBody Icing Creator

People always ask where I am from, and when I reply “North Philly” their response is always followed by a gesture as if they smelled a foul odor Lol. In contrast to popular belief, Philly women are proud to be from Philly, I know I am. Some of us just prefer not live there. Growing up in Philly, especially during the 90’s, was extremely rough. The drug epidemic completely saturated our communities, tore apart families and left kids like me destitute. But In spite of all the tragedies, there was always one thing I could rely on to escape the madness around me, and that was my determination and imagination! I always knew I would make it out of the unfortunate situations I was in and become more than what my surroundings presented. Growing up in Philly not only made me tough, it also taught me how to be optimistic. Read more>>

Shontae Seaborn | Nail Tech

I’m from Atlanta, Ga I grew up in a neighborhood called Summerhill if your from Atlanta you know where Summerhill is. I feel like my background have definitely had a big impact on who I am today because growing up in the hood very much so humbles you. Well I can’t speak for everybody but for me yes, I never liked the word “CAN’T” I just feel like that word means weakness. I watched my mom raise all 5 kids by herself, but she made it look easy. We never seen a struggle until maybe I was in 5th grade. I’ve been without lights and water but that along made me realize god can take it all away in just a blink of a eye. Read more>>

Kendra Nicole | Personal Trainer & Master Motivator

I’m the product of two Grady babies, I am an ATLien. I was raised on the WestSide of Atlanta, Etheridge Court to be exact, to North, South, and finally my heart East Atlanta. My parents divorced at the age of 5, my father off to serve our country, and my mother back in Atlanta with me by her side. Having southern roots, I watched my grandmother clean and cook chitlings preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. I learned how to snap green beans, shuck corn, and season chicken in my mama’s kitchen. Watching them prepare meals that made my belly full and happy was satisfying for me as a kid, it was comforting. I would help my mama bring in the groceries after a Sunday service at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church. Read more>>