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.

Trapdollazmanny | Singer, Rapper, Producer & SongWriter.

I grew up in PG county, Maryland. Growing up in the richest African American community in the united states really pushed me and showed me that i could do anything. I love being from Maryland and our culture is just different. Growing up my grandad was a singer, he was apart of this band called “The Rough Band” and hearing him sing growing up always made me want to pursue the same career. Read more>>

Pamella Reid | Managing Partner/Per Consulting Services and Executive Director and President, Dreamcatchers for the Soul Foundation, Inc

I was born and raised in the boogie down side of the Bronx, the baby of five…spoiled according to my siblings, but I always knew that I was here to change the world somehow! For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an actress. I took commercial classes, studied at Double Image theater, Talent Unlimited, and later attended SUNY at Purchase Conservatory for acting. At the age of 13 years old, I formed my own theater company “Teens Unlimited Repertory”. Read more>>

Cynthia Kaiser | Communications Coach and Consultant

I grew up in Beverly Hills in the 1970s but very poor. My mother was a single mom and my schooling was very important to her so she moved us into a small, bug invested apartment on the outskirts of Beverly Hills to get me into the school system. Because we had very little money, I had to pivot and be resilient and bring something that was valuable to my peers at school. I became funny because I could do that well (I learned on television) and that provided me a foothold into making friends and influencing people. Read more>>