Through our work we have had the good fortune of seeing firsthand how success comes in every shape, size, color, faith, and orientation. More importantly we’ve learned that success is often the result of people embracing their unique backgrounds and so we’ve asked the community to tell us about their background and how it has impacted where they are today.

Merci Ortenzi Treaster | Pelvic Health Physical Therapist

I am from Douglasville, Ga. It is a small town about 30 minutes west of Atlanta. I was raised by two women who greatly impacted who I am today. Both business owners, both health care professionals, but most importantly, both strong, independent and told me I could do whatever I wanted to do. One mother in an OB/GYN and other is a chiropractor. So out popped me, a pelvic health physical therapist! Read more>>

Carla Clark | Educator & Prophetic Coach

Well, believe it or not,, I grew up right here in Atlanta. I am what some would call a Grady baby meaning I was born at Grady Hospital in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Every time I tell someone this, their reply is that they do not meet many people from Atlanta. I was born to a teenage mother who was sixteen when I was born. I was what people would in today’s society would call a “latchkey kid born into poverty.” When I was in elementary school, I lived in the Hollywood Road area on the Westside of Atlanta. I lived in an apartment until I was 13 years old. At 14 years of age, my family moved to the suburbs to a house in Decatur, Ga so that my brother and sister would have a better life and get a better education. Read more>>

Cornelius “Mr. Come On Somebody” Turner | National Fitness Presenter, Zumba & MixxedFit Instructor

I was born and raised in Mobile, AL. My background and upbringing significantly fueled my drive for success. Growing up, it was hard to hear how others would judge those that lived in low income homes or “The Projects” as some would say. Kids made fun of me and my family. Parents even discouraged their kids from being friends with “The Project Kids.” I remember my high school prom date’s mother told her she didn’t want her going to the prom with someone from the projects. That shattered my young heart. However, I didn’t allow those negative words to sway me from my greatness! I used those words as a catalyst to fuel my hunger for success. Read more>>

Nickkie Burgos | Inspirational Writer

I am from Camden, NJ. I grew up in a city that has a reputation for being plagued with violence & oppression. Although, my small south jersey city has its faults; I can’t help but love where I come from. It is there that I have met forever friends, were I obtained my middle school & college education; while maintaining lasting relationships that allow me to network, advance & be LOVED. It is there that I felt love, support & togetherness especially in times of difficulty. The news & those unfamiliar with what my city offers will tell you to stay away. However, I am drawn there because there’s a sense of understanding & solidarity amongst like-minded individuals. Read more>>

Kencovia Jean-Baptiste: Founder & Creative Artist

As part of a family that has been blessed with natural creative gifts, growing up in The Bahamas, this story begins more than twenty-five years ago. I grew up in a household with a grandfather that was a professional fisherman and farmer, an uncle that often used me as a muse for his oil paintings, and a grandmother that cooked and baked everyday. I would tag along as she took her baked goods to be sold at the neighborhood convenient store. Aunt’s who embroidered and sewed garments and home décor, and a mother that made jewelry and sold them to the women that she worked with. It was a household, where the smell of fresh baked bread and oil paint along with the humming sounds of a sewing machine was quite normal. Read more>>

Trinette L. Collier | Certified Relationship Stylist

I’m from Los Angeles, California but being a military kid, that experience afforded me the opportunities to live in many places. My background and upbringing was very routine and normal. Raised in a two parent home, my Mother was a stay at home Mom so she trained us on how to care for home life such as cooking, cleaning, taking care of each other, etc…My Dad taught us the basics of outside life such as the power of the dollar, car maintenance, etc… However, together, they taught us the meaning of entrepreneurship and what it took to work for self. My siblings and I watched our parents create a company, build it from ground up, grow and maintain it. Read more>>