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.

Karys Rodriguez | Co-Founder, Sir Cadian

I come from Puerto Rico from a family that instilled in me the values of hard work and dedication from an early age. I started my career based on what I had seen from my parents, traditional corporate background. I worked on financial services, management consulting, and corporate strategy. These jobs taught me the importance of having strong processes and frameworks, questioning how things have been done and looking for ways to make them more efficient, and being able to function with ambiguity or when I don’t have all of the details but need to start making some progress. Read more>>

Cherie | Creator, owner of Live! Juice Bar

Wow! In every. Single. Way! I’m from St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, but have lived in a couple different parishes through my childhood. I was raised by my mom and my aunts, my mom was a single mother who was always, very much herself. I saw her do so many different things that it ingrained in me that I could do whatever I wanted, And, I grew up with a lot of space, and freedom. I was walking myself to and from home/school by the time I was 5, and at 8 I was living in, and exploring Jamaica’s second city on my own. Read more>>

Nicole Lucia | Model

I was born and raised in Foster, Rhode Island. The smallest town in the smallest state here in North America. Growing up, I was a quiet kid. I had a small group of friends and mostly kept to myself. I definitely was not a risk taker when it came to doing things for myself. It was not until I started traveling that I realized “I need to get out of Rhode Island”. I slowly started realizing that some people live comfortable, “normal” lives. That’s just not who I was nor am. Being from a small place you get very comfortable, every knows everyone no matter where you go. Read more>>

Hillary Karene | Priestesses, Life-coach, Prophetess

I am from Silver Spring, Maryland. However, my family is originally from Kingston, Jamaica. I have two older siblings, and I’m a first-generation American in my family; growing up, my father was an alcoholic and my mother a nurse assistant. I recall seeing the stress of bills and life taking a toll on my parents, which made m father abusive. At that moment, I felt deeply that I had the responsibility to make a difference in the lives of others. Despite the problems at home, my parents did their best to provide a good quality of life for my Brothers and me. These life experiences birthed a deep level of ambition and drove me to achieve all of my goals. And show appreciation to my parents and grandparents for their sacrifices to migrate from Jamaica to America. Read more>>

Chef | Music Artist

I’m from Lauderhill, FL. A city in Broward County. I grew up on the edge of the city limits and was always in the middle of everything. I could go down the street to the hood or up the street to Sunrise. I think that blend carved me. Artistically, I see it play a role in the diversity of my music. How I can attack a track in so many ways because of all the things I’ve done and seen on both sides of the city. It also opened my mind up to different styles of music, different kinds of people, and lifestyles. I was able to interact with a slew of things that’ll eventually be embedded in me and help mold the mindset I have today. I love where I’m from and how it played it’s part in creating the creative I am today. Read more>>

Alex McCrary | Songwriter/hip hop artist

I was born & raised in Memphis, TN. I grew up in Hollywood, located in north Memphis before moving to a different area in the city by the age of 11. I lived life in the ghetto while also being able to live life in a comfortable home on the outskirts of a pre dominantly white county. Having the chance to see life on two different sides of the spectrum, groomed me into the respectable individual that i am today. My parents raised me to the best of their ability & for that, I’m forever grateful. I love who i am. Read more>>

Bill Oberlander | Artist and writer

I’m from a very small town in southwestern North Dakota. I grew up a latchkey kid, and as the oldest of three and the only boy in the family I spent a lot of time alone entertaining my imagination. I believe I was already naturally inclined to be creative, and the liberties of my childhood allowed me to fully foster the desire to build, invent and create. I enjoyed being outside and going on adventures, narrating the story as I went. At this point in my life, I’m reflecting back on how I lived as a child and the importance of building and creating original things was to me throughout my life and I’m finally starting to recognize it as an indelible part of who I am and as something I can use, hopefully, to the benefit of others. Read more>>