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.

Yuriana Smith | Owner of VibeManiacs | Your favorite Hat Apparel

I’m from a small, country town called Warner Robins, Ga. I come from a hardworking family. Most importantly, a loving family. My parents taught me how to be ambitious and to be proactive when it comes to getting what you want out of life. They inspire me to be who I am today. Read more>>

Kristina Svirskaite | Lifestyle Photographer

I was born and raised in Lithuania. It was still during Soviet Union times, so we didn’t have much. We didn’t have fancy things, we didn’t have fancy vacations. We just enjoyed each other: playing outside with friends, camping, and gardening. I was a tomboy, always climbing trees and helping my dad fix cars. My dad also had this old film camera and I grew up watching him take photos and develop them in his dark room. I have this faint memory of standing in his dark room and watch the images emerge right in front of me. Read more>>

Luciana Etchechoury | Entrepreneur (& Fiber Lover)

I was born and raised in Argentina. I think Argentinians are really passionate and affectionate. Above all, we value friendship and family, and since we encounter many problems as a third-world country, I think we are very creative and keep going no matter what. Read more>>

Terrance Pryor, Esq. | Attorney, Activist, Advocate & Real Estate Investor

I’m originally from Chicago, IL. And I literally take it with me everywhere I go and into everything I do. Chicago taught me a number of different things that have played a major role in my success thus far. But most importantly it taught me that if I want something, then to go get it. That mindset has carried me throughout my entire life and has helped me continue to grind it out even when the odds are stacked against me. Read more>>

KOFI BOATENG IBSEN | CREATOR

I am from a small town called North Kaneshi in Ghana, west Africa. I certainly believe my upbringing in Ghana had a huge impact in helping shape who I am today and how I see and take in the world. I come from very humble beginnings. I was raised by my mom, my Grandfather and Grandmother as well as a whole village of aunts and Uncles. The traditiond, values and lessons that get passed down to you are priceless and valuable . My past is what drives me today. Read more>>