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.

Dustin Gutkowski | CEO-Results Roofing

I was from a small town at the time out side of Austin. I grew up in a bad area, we were super poor, was a tough upbringing, I didnt know my father, and home was filled with drugs, abuse, I was homeless at 14. All that actually turned out to be a miracle and mold me into what I am today. I wouldnt be the man, husband or father I am with out going through those things. Read more>>

Daisy Lopez | Owner & Lead Technician

I was born in Mexico and came here as a child, i think that has played a huge role in my success and work ethic. Growing up I didn’t have what others had, I’m one of 6 kids and we were very limited. As soon as I was able to work I did, I was ready to provide for myself. I always worked harder than my job tittle because I wanted to be seen and succeed. Soon after I realized I could only get so far at a “job” so I created my own company and the success it has brought me these past few years has been amazing!. Read more>>

Deidra Kindred | RN, BSN, LNC, FCN, BCPA, CEO

I was born in Michigan, but raised in the great state of Texas. My mom was a single parent of four children and always instill in us to go to college get a great career, but always have your plan A, B, and C. She was such an influential part of my life. I did have to grow up pretty fast to help her raise my brother and sisters. Watching her work and go back to college to get her degree in Marketing was inspiring. My plans were to obtain a degree as a physical therapist. So, I also was a single mom of one, but worked and went to college at this same time. I can’t really think of a time that I only worked one job until I was in my nursing internship. I remember quite vividly; I was up one evening writing a paper for class, my son was sleeping. I received a phone call from a dean at Texas Women’s University. He stated that he was looking at my grades and was wondering if I would change my major from physical therapy to nursing? All I had to do was write a 750 essay on what education meant to me and have it in his office in the morning. Read more>>

CeCe Godbolt | Gospel Recording Artist & Actress

I am a native of in Camden, Arkansas. I came from a musical family; my father was a singer. I inherited his gift of singing and love of music. I started singing at the age of 5 and knew that God had called me to use my voice to minister to people from all backgrounds and walks of life. I attended Zion Hill Baptist Church where I sung in the sunbeam choir and junior choir. By the time I entered high school, my singing afforded me opportunities to travel. And in college I was part of the interdenominational Ensemble (IDE). My mom instilled in me the necessity to remain humble and that has definitely made a major impact on who I am today. Read more>>

Tiffany Velasquez | Mother, Yoga Instructor, Entrepreneur

I am born and raised in Lawton, Oklahoma. I was born into a big, close knit, Mexican family, with particularly strong women and strong family values that I hold close to my heart to this day. It is very important to me to carry on our family traditions, to honor my ancestors and to continue the strong legacy of la Familia Gonzalez. My great-grandmother, or abuelita, Carmen Guadarrama Vega Gonzalez, has been one of the strongest influences for me throughout my entire life. I never got the chance to meet her in this physical world but, the woman that she was and the things she instilled into our family as a strong and powerful matriarch have shaped me to be the woman I am. She immigrated from Mexico city to the US in 1967 with my abuelito and their eight children. She only spoke Spanish when arriving and learned English after beginning life in the states. Read more>>

Nassos Tsafalopoulos | Owner, Yiayia’s Coffeehouse

I was born and raised in Greece. From a very young age, I spent my summers working in the tourism industry, making and serving coffee. From small coffee houses to luxurious island resorts, I quickly learned the value of impeccable service and I also discovered the art of coffee. My passion for coffee led me to Italy, where I was trained by seasoned baristas and mastered the art. After I graduated from University, I gave up my passion and opted for “job security” with a bank in Greece. Years later, I would return to my passion. My career as a banker in Greece ended abruptly due of the financial crisis. My wife (born and raised in Dallas) and I moved to the U.S. five years ago. Instead of going back to the financial sector, this time around I followed my true calling. I opened Yiayia’s Coffeehouse and I am now reliving my summer days here in Frisco with the same goal – respect to the customer, excellent service, and a perfect cup of coffee!. Read more>>

Kiundrea Washington | Artist/Music Producer, Model,Skateboarder

I’m originally born and raised in Nashville Tennessee. My mother moved us to Dallas Texas when I was eight years old in 2004. Growing up in the south has taught me what it means to be a hard-working man, a good friend, How to enjoy the simple things in life. Which I do in extravagant and not-so-extravagant ways. Read more>>

Sophie Cheung | Photographer and Art Director

I moved around quite a bit as a child, but I identify where I am from mostly based on my culture – Hong Kong. My background impacts me a lot as Hong Kong has a famous cinema world. It’s also famously known for being a British colony, and hence Britain has a huge impact on Hong Kong livelihood. Hong Kongers are also known for their hard work ethic and that definitely impacted me the way that I am. I work very hard for my career and I love working hard. My background is also the reason for the art that I’ve created. I’m inspired by the filmmakers of Hong Kong. I love their aesthetic and fashion. Read more>>

Nia Malone | Music Artist & Youtuber

I’m from Dallas, Texas but I am currently in Houston, Texas for school (University of Houston). All throughout my years of grade school I have always bounced from school to school, as well as attended a few schools out of state. As a result of that, I was exposed to a lot of different people from low income hood schools to conservative private schools. I was lucky enough to be raised by my dad, who handled his business as a father and made sure I stayed in the nicest homes and never wanted for anything. Unfortunately my mom didn’t play her part as a mother the older I got, which has definitely made me the person I am today. After graduating from Cedar Hill High School, I attended Howard University on a partial scholarship, where I also met a lot of different people. But unfortunately while being there as a student, I realized how Howard was not at all what it was hyped up to be. Read more>>

Alexandra Lemm | Teacher & Lifestyle Blogger

Where I am from and my childhood completely encompasses my “why” and who I am today. I was born and raised in Austin, Texas where my father moved to make a living as a solo musician. In the 80s, he was in a well-known band in upstate New York called Duke Jupiter, who toured with bands such as ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughn, David Bowie, and Toto. He married my mom, a Cornell graduate that recieved her degree in marketing, and they started a business together promoting my father. My earliest memories consist of fancy restaurants hearing my dad play the piano, and making trips to small Texas towns to sell his music. We eventually found ourselves consistently in the town of Fredericksburg, Texas, where we would spend the weekends and sell my dad’s music in front of different gift shops. My mother was an amazing saleswoman, and while we no longer sell as a family, his music is still found on Spotify, Apple Music, Sirius XM radio and various spa channels because of her. Read more>>

Jay Honest | Rapper / Manager / Influencer / Marketing Agent / CEO / Streamer / Father of 3 / A&R

I’m from Ottawa, Canada’s Capital. I’d like to say my background and upbringing made a huge impact on who I am and how I carry myself. From the cold street, sleeping outside, battling addictions in my past & losing very very close people to me…. everything has impacted me. Not all in negative ways, the long nights outside for example, helped me keep myself awake while taking care of my son overnight as I make songs in my studio and stream at the same time. Having to handle every aspect of my life myself since a young age has taught me to be able to handle many things at once without experiencing the same amount of stress as others. I feel like a machine half the time but I feel as tho I’m headed in the right direction. Read more>>

Estella Bangura | Minister of The Gospel & Author

Sierra Leone is the country of my birth and where I lived until my early teens before emigrating to the United States. It’s story is adequately captured in the 2006 movie “Blood Diamond” starring Academy Award Winner Leonardo DiCaprio and Academy Award Nominee Djimon Hounsou, in which the West African nation was depicted in a cataclysmic social, political and economic mesh and mosaic that presented its people as being in an existential struggle for survival against considerable and disproportionate odds. The epic cinematic event was cast against the backdrop of Sierra Leone’s civil war that raged through the 1990s, where two men, a white South African mercenary (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a black Mende fisherman (Djimon Hounsou), became united in the calamitous pursuit of a rare gem that had the power to transform the lives of so many. With the help of an American journalist (Jennifer Connelly), the men embarked on a dangerous endeavor through rebel-held territories in pursuit of this objective. Read more>>

Luis Silva | Foodie_Munster Identity

I come from the working class and restaurateurs. My family is from both sides of the border between Texas & Mexico. My family like many American families have always been about their version of the American dream. My mother’s side always working hard to provide for their spouses and children. As latinos, family is paramount. Future generations groomed to one up the generation before them. Legacy was not one of going into the family business. My dad’s side was backed by a family business – restaurants. I learned the restaurant business and entrepreneurship. I was influenced to persue higher education to earn a career and profession. Higher education challenged me. During both my bachelors & masters – I developed skill sets to leverage later in life. Although, I often wonder if my education was an advantage or disadvantage. I ended up going full circle and landed in hospitality management. Hospitality management became customer service in the finance industry. Fast forward to present day, I identify as an instablogger, host and food consultant. Read more>>