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.

Yuri Ansari | Japanese Calligraphy Artist

I was born and raised in Tokyo and started learning Japanese calligraphy at the age of six. I started learning Japanese calligraphy simply because everyone else was learning it. My first calligraphy teacher moved away soon after I started learning, so I started learning with a different teacher. I remember how much fun it was to go to the new class once a week to learn calligraphy because many of my friends from the same school were there. Read more>>.

Yamira Sól | Tattooist & Painter/Artist

I’m originally from South Florida. Miami born, West Palm Beach raised. I grew up in an artistic family, so throughout the years I’ve developed and learned how to create pretty much my whole life ever since I was 3. I’ve attended art schools growing up (elementary, middle, & highschool). As I grew older, my style and subject matters/mediums have changed overtime. Tattooing came to me naturally, and ever since I was introduced to tattooing, I’ve never worked a corporate job ever again. Read more>>

Tatiana Hernandez-Freeman | Celebrity Makeup Artist

I’m an Army Brat so where I’m from varies with who’s asking. I was born in Oklahoma, but my earliest memories are dated back to Germany where I can remember my mom having an in-house daycare. From there our little family moved to Washington, there I can recall my mom working for herself cleaning houses. I helped her clean toilets at the tender age of 5. Read more>>

Victoria Nation | Writer, Director, Producer

To be honest with you, the older I’ve gotten, the less I talk about one of the more interesting aspects of my life – that is, where I’m from and how I was raised. That was nothing to do with me, after all. No conscious decision I’ve made, no action that I took to make my life more enriched or interesting. It’s just … who I am. Read more>>

Sierrah Penniex | Boutique Owner/Women Empowerment

I am from Racine, WI and I have always lived with family members growing up. My mother have always been in and out of jail when I was young. I have also been from foster home to foster home but I didn’t let that define who I am today. I have been through a lot throughout my childhood BUT GOD BUT GOD! He had other plans for me. I didn’t allow my past to affect my future. I wanted more out of life. I was so determined to create a better life for my children and I. Read more>>

G-SALIH | Artist, Humanitarian & Entrepreneur

I was born and raised in Virginia, to Sudanese parents who immigrated to the United States just before I was born. I’m the first in my family to be born in the U.S and that put my parents, my siblings, and I in a very unique situation. Read more>>

Cashe’ Gregory | Serial Entrepreneur & Upcoming Publicist

I am from Cleveland, Ohio. The little girl that blossomed in the 216! I grew up in a single parent household. My mom didn’t play “both roles” as some would want to say but, she held parenting down 100%. I was surrounded by the powerful strength of women (grandmother and aunts). Read more>>

Kierston Parks | Photographer

I am from Monroe, Louisiana. My dad is an entrepreneur and my mother is an artist. Both are masters in their trade. I watched from an early age the evidence of studying and investing in your passion always pays off. I remember my mom taking classes as she was on her way to get her MBA. She came home with a camera one day and I had never seen her look so cool. Read more>>