Even if you are from the same neighborhood as someone else, you might still be coming from different places. Where you are from is a complicated question and it elicits complicated, but interesting and thought-provoking responses. We’ve shared some of those responses below.

Keri Fraser | Award-winning International Worship Leader & Songwriter, Author, Pastor, TV Show Host, Entrepreneur

I was born and raised in the beautiful United States Virgin Islands. Growing up in the Virgin Islands and especially being surrounded by people of great faith in God, had a major impact on who I am today. The Virgin Islands has had it’s share of storms and major hurricanes, yet as a community, we possess a tenacity to stand strong, rebuild and never lose hope. Like the palm tree, I have learned to bend (but not to break) as I endured the storms of life. As I experienced God’s love and grace guiding me through the storm, it empowered and encouraged me to help others in their time of need. Read more>>

Alfredo Matos | Money Coach

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, blessed with a loving family. Growing up in a low income family, I learned how to do a lot with little resources. After my parents’ divorce, my mother enjoyed working in sales and it was that environment in which I learned that having your own business was difficult and rewarding. The idea of being your own boss, tracing your own journey and working the hours you want to work were appealing to me from an early age. I saw how powerful it was to have women empowered as entrepreneurs, and also saw that higher incomes didn’t always equate to long term wealth generation. Read more>>

Emmalee Mims | Makeup Artist

I was born in South Carolina and raised for the most part in Macon, GA. I have amazing parents who could not be more opposite- my father is very logical. He’s a work-a-holic doctor and loves what he does. To put it in the terms of kids these days- he’s always chasing the bag. Hahaha. My mother is the opposite. She is very artistic and go-with-the-flow. She has always doodled and played in multiple mediums of art. One of those being stained glass. Them and their characteristics have kind of swirled together to make me- and 4 siblings. It is so funny, half of my siblings chose to go into the “hero” fields- firefighting or medical, and the other half of us are pursuing artistry- whether that’s music or makeup. Read more>>

Lamia Rady | Fashion Designer X Stylist X Visual Artist . Creative Director of Rigash

Fashion designer meets visual artist, Lamia Rady is a multidisciplinary self-taught fashion designer born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. growing up she was always interested in fashion and taught her self how to sew at the age of 13. Growing up she struggled with an autoimmune disease called crohn’s. Now she primarily derives her inspiration from her early experiences and relationship to her personal body tied with the aesthetics of the minimalist movement. Her collections aim to highlight one’s relationship to their personal body and how they experience it through her designs. Read more>>

Luz Davis | Spiritual Diviner

I am Taino decent born and raised in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Growing up in a Puerto Rican household it always felt very special to me. House full of music, warmth, amazing food, laughter, dancing, but most importantly the love- sometimes tough love but the love was unconditional. Both my parents instilled in my siblings and I hardwork and pride. To be proud of our culture, to be proud of our language and our beliefs. My parents had financial struggles but I never saw it or felt it. They both worked two jobs, sometimes one may have a third but it was home cooked meals on the table everyday. We had our weekend lake cookouts. They made “life” look easy. Read more>>

Shavie Sandoval | Esthetician and Phlebotomist

I’m from Atlanta, Ga. I grew up in Bowen Homes, a housing community on the west side of Atlanta. And attended Frederick Douglass High School.
Growing up in inner city to a single mom to 8 kids, in one of Atlanta’s roughest neighborhoods made me everything I am today. It taught what it is to work hard and persevere. It gave me character. It molded me to over calm the toughest obstacles that a young black girl can face. It was hard but I wouldn’t go back and change it if I had the chance. It is what makes me special. Read more>>

Imade Omozore | Hairpreneur and Braided Wig Specialist

Hello! I was born and raised in Queens, New York. I was raised by both a Nigerian father and a Jamaican mother. Being raised by both of these cultures has influenced me to persevere, embrace change and have resilience. This has impacted me for who I am today because I learned first hand experience that closed mouths dont get fed. If you want something, you have to put in the work to do it, and it has to start with you. From my father I learned the importance of entrepreneurship, being open to experiences and not to settle. Read more>>

Leonard Boone | Author/actor entrepreneur

I’m from Tampa Fl I was born a tampa general hospital on the west side of town I grew up in west tampa projects known as the Peejays I grew up around drugs guns pimps and players I lived the life of a king because my house was Considered the drug hub I grew up with prostitutes sleeping in my bed staying over from late night runs for my dad and uncles they were take me to town with them shopping and picking up drugs I traffic drugs with others as a youth to get my school supplies and clothes my mom raised me in church to be a better man Read more>>

Aisha Lumumba | Fiber Artist and Author

I am from McDonough, Georgia. It was a small rural town as I was growing up. I remember hearing it referred to as a town with only two traffic lights. My young days were filled with carefree play and outdoor fun with my sister. I think those early days helped me develop a self-reliance and independence. Read more>>

Javon Brown | Recording Artist, Activist,motivational speaker & poet

I am originally from Flint,Michigan But was raised in Decatur,Ga and all other parts of Georgia and growing up as a kid I use to always like to dance & sing and rap and do poetry as well as go to church growing up I use to listen to artist such as busta rhymes, Missy Elliott, timbaland & magoo, OutKast, Ludacris, the lost boyz & so many more And my family are the ones who really impact me who I am today. Read more>>

Chef Corey Hall | Celebrity Chef and Culinary Cannabis Artist

Originally from Massachusetts, settled in Florida. Raised by my Father, a veteran with a great work ethic, strength, and toughness that keeps him alive at 90 today. However, my father, to be kind, has the communication skills of a bull in a china shop, just hardened from multiple tours in the military, and would pass down that hardness, all the same. He taught me that it was HIS way, no other, you will ignore the pain, you have no feelings and tough is the only way to be. Read more>>

Ashli King | Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

I am a native of Louisiana and my background of growing up in Southwest Louisiana fueled the creative side that I am so passionate to share with others today. Growing up in Southern Louisiana includes family, festivals across the country, and wonderful music that includes Zydeco, Swing-Out, Jazz, and great Blues artists; so it was natural and in my blood, to pick up musical instruments such as the clarinet and saxophone throughout my matriculation of grade school and my undergraduate experience at Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Read more>>

Ashley Winder | Wardrobe stylist

I’m from Baltimore, Maryland born and raised. My background and upbringing impact me today as to how I present myself. I’ve always had a an eye for fashion and used it as a way to speak for myself. I started my love for fashion in the field of retail I loved mixing prints and colors which increased my creativity with clothing. I gained a clientele that trusted my expertise in finding looks for their next event or vacation. I was able to start styled to school as a way to showcase where I shop, looks for less and shop my closet. Read more>>

Melissa Harvey | Owner of Miley Cakez Pastries and Desserts LLC and Owner of Mystical Moments & Events

I’m from New York! I lived there until 2018 when I relocated here to Atlanta. Growing up in NY majorly impacted who I am today . New Yorkers have this natural born hustle to them. We make a way no matter what. That mentality is ingrained in us. We see opportunity and that hustle mentality just clicks in. If I didn’t have that mindset I never would’ve taken the chances and risks I’ve taken for this brand/business . Read more>>

Duaa Siddiqui | Student & Entrepreneur

I belong to a Muslim family, residing in Karachi,Pakistan. Mostly people around belong to a bit conservative mindset but I am blessed with such set of parents that they have always been there to support me and my other siblings too. There have been times that due to societal pressure my family tried to restrict us too but I knew what I wanted in life and how I am mature enough to know what is right and wrong for me. I made sure to stand firm on all my decisions even if they would not turn out the way I planned them. I think it is important to always own your decisions! Read more>>

Teresa Plaugher | Accountant

I was born in Cd Juarez, Mexico. My mother and I arrived in Denver in 1989. After my father attempted to kill my mother on several occasions she finally mustered the courage to leave him. I remember it like it was yesterday. My auntie picked us up, we were allowed one suitcase (for the both of us) and I was allowed to bring one toy with me. I chose a brown teddy bear, with a knitted sweater whom I had named Fernando. Read more>>