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.

Deion T. Washington | Stand Up Comedian

I am from Memphis Tennessee. Being brought up in the streets hanging with real drug dealers and addicts made me see who not to be. I chose a different path. A path that led me to be a minister. Read more>>

Emily Chu | Illustrator & Visual Artist

I am a illustrator and visual artist. Born in Beijing and currently residing in Amiskwaciwâskahikan / Treaty 6 territory (Edmonton, Canada). Like my identity, my arts practice is blended, Read more>>

Carol Smith | Fundraiser, Helping Men Find Help for Addiction

Never could I have imagined that one day I would be working in addiction treatment, passionate as I am about getting people help. Read more>> 

Carlos Abrahams | Chef/ Owner of Crav’n Caribbean

I was born and raised in Kingston JA, from there we moved to NY and then DE. My upbringing and background groomed me yo be who I am today because my parents were always hard workers growing up and owned multiple businesses, Read more>>

Brooklyn Jones | Photographer

I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and I have always had a creative mindset as a child. As a creative person, my greatest strength has always been my greatest weakness. Read more>>

Stevie Thompson | Composer & Engineer

I’m born and raised from Greensboro, NC “336”. My parents started me early in music. I started playing the drums early a the age of 3 and shortly afterwards, I started playing drums for my church all throughout my youth and college years. Read more>>

Tracy Galasso | Home Curator & Host

I grew up primarily in middle Tennessee. As a kid, on the weekends, my parents would hoist me up into the windows of homes that were under construction, so I could let them in from the inside and they would wander around talking about the plans underway. Read more>>

Quez Cantrell | Artist, Song Writer, Web Designer

I’m from Nashville, TN, more specifically East Nashville or “Out East”. I’ve lived in different neighborhoods Out East. Read more>>

CJ Hoty | Lead Singer for Murder The Mood

I came from Cleveland, Ohio and had a self titled band there for 4 or so years. My wife and I moved to Athens about 9 years ago and have ingrained ourselves in the music scene ever since. Read more>>

Willie Chiles aka Anewmefr | Servant of Jesus Christ

I was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. My grandma, Sarah, used to always make sure I would never miss church on Sunday. She also had me singing in youth choir. Soon after that I was playing the alto saxophone. Read more>>

Mario Johnson | DJ & Entrepreneur

I am originally from Brooklyn, NY and a first generation graduate from University at Albany. With a Jamaican family they taught me to have grit and to never limit yourself. Along with this i learned to work for what you want it will never just be given to you. Read more>>

Twin Mally | Artist/Songwriter

I’m from west Baltimore. Whitelock to be more specific, and it made me who I am today. That along with the love of my mother, and making my own mistakes along the way made me strong as I can be. I feel as though I am able to last and adapt to any atmosphere I find myself in because of those things alone. Read more>>

Christopher Flippo | Writer/ Director

I’m originally from Rossville, Ga. I went to elementary, middle, and high school there before going to the University of Georgia. Read more>>

Kayla Beggs | Guitarist, Artist, & Instructor

My hometown is Toccoa, GA, but I spent most of my life moving around. Moving a lot combined with being homeschooled meant I didn’t have very much of a social life, so I spent most of my time playing and listening to music. Read more>>

Felicia Wilson | Social Worker

I am from a small city in Alabama. Growing up, I was surrounded by my loving family, which included my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Most of my childhood memories include time spent doing regular things with my family. Read more>>

Shane Jcakson | Certifed Nutrition / Life COACH

I was born Helena, Arkansas, and raises in FLINT, Michigan. My background from both cities taught me resilience and gave me the tools to allow my Dreams to bigger than my fears. Read more>>

Krystal Casseus | Skincare Manufacturer

I’m from an area in Queens Ny called Rosedale. Our slogan from queens is QTMG which means “Queens Get The Money”. So growing up in queens always seems like there’s a constant competition when it comes to fashion, cars, jewelry, and overall appearance and status. Read more>>

Adela Raffa | Awareness Coach, Master NLP & Gestalt Therapy Practitioner

I was born and raised in Malmo, Sweden. My parents are originally from Croatia, so I experienced two fundamentally different cultures in my childhood. For example, Croatian culture values community over individualism. Read more>>