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.

Kelly Grindle | Stay-At-Home-Mom & Fearless DIYer

I am from Johns Creek, Georgia, and for those of you that don’t know about that area, it’s a wealthy area. My mom stayed at home with me and my three siblings while my dad went to work. So, we had one income supporting 6 people. My dad has always been good at fixing everything – a handyman if you will. So, he was able to do a ton of projects himself with the help of my mom. While my parents were doing the projects themselves, everyone around us was hiring people to do them, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Read more>>

Kristy Johnson | Teacherprenuer

I was born in New Jersey, but we moved to Georgia when I was five because my dad was relocated by the company he worked for. When I was in 8th grade, he decided to take a risk and leave the company he was with for 21 years and buy his own company. He now had the flexibility to spend much more time with my two younger sisters and I. It was really life changing for all of us, including my mom. He was able to attend all of our school events and field trips, and even coached several of our sports. Growing up, my parents always supported us in whatever endeavor we sought out. Read more>>

Ciara TheSlimc” Parker | Model

I am originally from Alexandria, Virginia and have lived in numerous cities there before relocating to North Carolina. My background and foundation was built upon a Christian upbringing as I attended private school until the 5th grade. I learned basic principles, how to write in cursive and always to respect my elders. Transitioning to public schools were quite different and there was a lot more freedom of speech but less structure, at times I felt it was hard to stay focused. Moving to a new state, I found myself eager to explore different places and types of people and cultures. Read more>>

Sadio Tate | Esthetician/ Entrepreneur

I am originally from Columbia SC raised by my mom and with 3 sisters. My mom was a single mom raising me and my sisters. My mom is a civil attorney. My mom taught us to always be kind to people no matter what. Never allow someone to impact who you are. So I stand on principle when I move in my everyday life and I do not allow someone actions to determine my response. Also never judge a book by its cover because everyone has a story. Read more>>

Alicia George | Real Estate Closing Attorney

I am originally from Moorestown, NJ but moved to Atlanta, GA in 2008 to attend thee Spelman College. I would say my roots are in New Jersey, but a great part of who I am has been cultivated in Georgia. My grandfather recently passed away and it caused me to take a deep dive into who I am and how I have developed into the person I am today. I would have to say that my parents are at the core of my success and my husband and children are at the core of my drive. Read more>>

Taylor Lauder | Owner of Taylor Lauder Photography

I am originally from Solon Ohio. Since the first iPhone came out in 20027, I was taking pictures of everything and anything. From the trees, to the snow (because… cleveland) , to the puddles on the side walk. I saw/see beauty in almost everything and anyone. My mom took notice to this almost immediately, letting me know that the pictures I take are fairly decent. I come from a family of doctors, nurses, teachers etc…so being an artist wasn’t ideal. Read more>>

Kesha Muhammad-Garrett | Educational Consultant & Children’s Author

I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia…yes, I am actually a “Grady Baby!” I began my scholarly journey as an Atlanta Public school student, then as a student at the Mohammed Schools of Atlanta and finally as a student in the DeKalb County School District. I later continued my post high school education as a student at the Albany State University (my HBCU) where I received a Bachelors and Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. Read more>>