Where you grew up and your background can often have surprising effects on our lives and careers. We’ve asked folks from the community to tell us about how their background has affected them.

Brittany Dixon | Business Strategist & Productivity Coach

I grew up in a low income family in the small town of London, Ohio. My background and upbringing impacted who I am today in numerous ways. Moving out on my own when I was 18 was one of the biggest moments that shaped my life. I learned to be self-sufficient, resourceful and resilient. Read more>>

Cecilia Reyes | Musician

I was born and raised in a smPuerto Rico. My mom worked in advertisement and my dad was a musician. I grew up in a very musical household and always had a lot of support from my family. My dad, Ray Reyes, was in the latin boy band Menudo from 1982-1986. I would go to many of his reunion concerts when I was little and I was always inspired by him and his creativity, on and off stage. Read more>>

Eka Petriashvili | Esthetician

I am from Tbilisi, Georgia and moved to the U.S in 2019. I have a 13 year old daughter who lives in Georgia and travels to New York often. I have always wanted to have a business and a successful career. I moved to New York,  went to Christine Valmy school and obtained my Esthetics License. Read more>>

Borak | DJ – Producer

I’m a Turkish artist who moved in to USA 6 years ago and started from scratch. As a DJ my main style is eclectic dance music and the Turkish culture and background of mine is at the heart of my diversity. From the childhood tales that I grew up with to the song that I’ve been listening for many years I use a lot of references from my own cultural background to develop and deliver my taste of music. Read more>>

Ingrid Echeverry | photographer and videographer

I was born in Miami, but grew up in Cali, Colombia until I was 19 years old. After that I’ve been traveling around the world. Having a multicultural upbringing gave me the familiarity to relate to people from different backgrounds, to have the flexibility to adapt to different situations and keep empathy and passion in my work. Read more>>

Shaniese Laylor- Bogle | Trauma Recovery & Relationship Coach

Geographically, I was born and raised in Jamaica, Yallahs, St. Thomas. I lived in a Christian home- brought up in the Pentecostal faith from birth. I am from a nuclear family setting. I was introduced to this kind of household from I was cognizant of different kinds of family settings, and found safety in it….until things slowly began to fall apart, and one parent was no longer home with us- dad. Read more>>

Carlos Lopez | President, IRoll Sushi

I am a Miami native, from Cuban-American parents. My grandparents & parents migrated to Miami in the mid 1960’s fleeing Castro’s dictatorship. Our Cuban and Caribbean roots are evident in my everyday life; therefore at IRoll Sushi we have Yuca chips, Plantain Chips, Mango and Shrimp Ceviche as part of our signature menu items. Read more>>

Pharoah-Sadiq Graham | Model & Creative Entrepreneur

I was born in Atlanta, spent my childhood in Tallahassee, then moved to Broward County when I turned 14. My mother is from up north and my step father is Jewish so my upbringing comes with many influences- all of which helped shape who I am today. I was also raised vegan, and although I eat meat today, being raised in the city and country gave me a unique perspective on how I view nature and my place in it. Read more>>

Tasheena Salmon | Candle Therapist

I was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. My culture and upbringing has a major impact on my life. The resilience, heart work and spirtual practices in my household through my mom, grandma and aunt left an imprint on my life. They were the driving force behind me becoming the person I am today. Read more>>

Drew Dwelly | Elementary School Special Education Teacher & Professional Boxer

I am from New Bedford, MA. It is a relatively small city but it is diverse in many ways. New Bedford has its historical background dating back to the whaling days but also has its share of crime. Growing up with close friends of various backgrounds gave me a taste or the real world rather than sheltering me from it. Read more>>

Susana Zinn | Independent Life Insurance Agent

Life events have an interesting way of bringing us to our present. Each career that I have embraced and the people that I have met through various organizations all had one common thread: to support families and help them succeed. It is the driving force behind my passion for being an independent life insurance agent. Read more>>