There are so many factors that affect how our lives turn out, but one of the most interesting is how our backgrounds give us unique strengths and perspectives that affect who we are as adults. We asked rising stars from the community to tell us about their background and upbringing and how they feel it’s impacted who they are today.

Suyan Souen | Personal Trainer

I am from Brazil and I’ve been living in Miami for 4 years. I was born in São Paulo. . The city is the capital of the surrounding state of São Paulo, the most populous and wealthiest state in Brazil. Despite being a marvelous country Brazil presents a very large social inequality. Brazilians should learn on a very young age how to fight for your dreams. I was a classical ballerina and this was my passion. I started to work very young giving classical ballet classes for kids. My passion for dance made me want to start University in the Physical Education area. During University I had to stop the ballet because I was getting injured too often. I felt very sad and upset but this difficult situation led me start my studies on muscle strengthening for injury prevention. So I fell in love with the subject and I became a specialist! Nowadays I love to help people to achieve a better performance and improve their health. Read more>>

Rosemary Carrera | Founder of 305 Pink Pack

I was born and raised in Miami, to Cuban parents. My mom and her parents came when she was only 5 years old, in the hopes for a better life. My dad, although born in New York, was deported to Cuba at a young age because his parents were here illegally. Determined to return, they found their way soon after. My family always worked very hard, and instilled in me at a young age the importance of being independent, and helping others in need. As an optometrist, my specialty was in working with people with low vision and blindness. We would work together to find ways to use the vision they did have, or other senses, to ensure they could maintain their independence. Now, I work with women being treated for cancer. I can be there as a mentor to guide them during this all too familiar process, but also am able to provide assistance for the incidentals that accompany a diagnosis such as getting to treatment when you are unable to drive, and housekeeping services when you have physical restrictions. In working with these women, I feel that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Read more>>

Cath Branwood | Artful Alternatives – Artist, Photographer and Poet

I am originally from the UK. I was raised in the central area of the country where the popular show “Peaky Blinders” is based. While these days it is not nearly the dark and gritty place which the show portrays, it is still very industrial and grey and for me always lacked a certain vibrancy in life which I have found through travelling. I have always been an artist, but where I came from is perhaps why I sought out creativity and an artistic path to bring me out of a world lacking it. I was raised by a a gentle, kind father and a very successful career-driven woman. My mother was the daughter of a poor Welsh coal miner and then went to the top of her ladder and field to the point she was highly honored by the Queen in 2000. She always put much gravity on academic achievement which this artist conformed to by becoming a lawyer in the UK, but internally battled against my whole life. Read  more>>

Baby Kaely | Rapper & Inluencer

To be honest for a long time I was actually confused on where I was from. When I was younger and people would ask me that question I would kinda hesitate to answer. I was born in Newark, New Jersey in 2005 but I only lived there for one year. My parents didn’t want to continue raising us in the city so we moved to Florida, and that’s where Baby Kaely was born. I started recording music when I was five. By the time I was seven I was already signed to a major label based in Los Angeles, California. We would travel back and fourth pretty often. We loved it, we enjoyed the weather, the people, and especially the food. So eventually we made the decision to move here in 2014. That’s why when people would ask me where I was from, I didn’t really know how to answer. I lived in three cities by the time I was eight. My mom always says, where ever you attend high school is where you’re from. Read more>>

Lila Nikole | Designer and CEO of Lila Nikole Collection

I am of Puerto Rican decent raised in Queens, NY. I come from a very outgoing, music loving, cultural, hardworking family. I learned at a very young age that hard work gets you anything you want. One time I wanted a new bedroom furniture set, the cost was quite high. My father took me to the lumber store, as well as a Formica location and we picked out the pieces. I learned how to create furniture, from scratch at a very young age. This helped build my want a need for knowledge in creating and trying new things. I have so many random skills because I would apply the training and ideas my family installed me and apply it to all types of ventures. Read more>>

Jacqueline Guzman | City of Sunrise Assistant Deputy Mayor, Community and Child Advocate

I am originally from New York but raised in Plantation, Florida at a young age. I am very blessed to have both of my parents in my life but it wasn’t always like that. My parents divorced when I was 11 years old. My mother became a single mom of 4, worked full time and did everything she could for us with limited resources. When my father left our home, for almost 10 years, we did not have a good relationship. During that time, I almost lost my mother to an erupt brain tumor. My sisters and I relied on each other and with our faith in God, my mother recovered and is living her best life, enjoying her 12 grandchildren. In my late 20’s, my father and I restored our relationship and since then, we talk everyday! At the age of 26, I too became a single mother, worked hard to provide for my children and blessed to have survived 2 heart attacks. Read more>>