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.

Nathaly Sanchez | Entrepreneur & Model

My name is Nathaly Sanchez, I was born in El salvador but raised in Irving Tx. I am the first generation to grow up in the US and first girl out of my family. My life has consisted of many ups and downs but i’m grateful for all the lessons i’ve learned throughout the way. Being undocumented and not having many opportunities has taught me to be humble open minded and grateful for all the little things. Regardless of my legal status, Iam grateful to be a part of the Dream Act which has shaped me into who i am today. This has pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and influence others in a good way. Stepping up for my self and family has impacted my life in many ways such as being able to network with others and be ambitious of everything that i do. Having the ability to tell my story makes me feel happy because i know many can relate. I have goals and ambition that i am going to achieve for my self and nothing is going to get in my way. Read more>>

Abby Wallach | CEO, Co-Founder, Scentinvent Technologies & Sparti Scents

My fascination for beauty and fashion started at a very young age. I was always dreaming up businesses and looking for things to invent. From playing with lotions and potions while sitting at my grandmother’s vanity to selling my Cinderella watch for a piece of bubble gum—REALLY!—to the revelation that a cup-holder should be at the end of every movie theater seat as well as a sponge contraption on which to rest your head when having a shampoo at the hair salon. This insatiable curiosity to invent was endless. I was full of ideas and they were big! ​Read more>>

Anthony Vanegas | Pawnbroker; Small Business Owner

Born in El Salvador and raised in Irving, Texas, my upbringing has played an integral role in who I am today. Each time I visit El Salvador, which I try to do at least once a year, I’m always deeply reminded of how different my life could have been. Being raised by hard working, immigrant parents has had a pivotal impact on the way I view work, sacrifice, and success. Watching my parents work multiple jobs, while maneuvering life in a new country and making do with limited resources molded me into a man ready to work for a better lifestyle at a young age. My first job was at the age of 12; I began working at a pawnshop as a translator. That was the beginning of my love of the pawn industry, which I still work in today. Read more>>

Alexis Holley | Owner & Candle Maker of 5th& Holley

I was born in Fort Polk, La. I grew up in Boston, Ma with four other siblings. I grew up in a single parent home and my mom worked multiple jobs. Eventually My mom moved us back to Louisiana. Eleven months later I lost one of my brothers. My mom always sure we were healthy, safe and taken care of. No matter how hard things were or how tired she was. So as an adult , I try to carry the traits I saw in her as a child. I give with a pure heart and true intentions. I keep an open mind when it comes to others and I never make promises I cant keep. Even though life has its own twisted way of playing out I believe the best is yet to come! Read more>>

FunkyTown Fridge | Community Solidarity Fridge

I am from Fort Worth, Tx specifically the Stop Six neighborhood. My background and upbringing is a huge part of what got me here. I grew up watching my mother, grandmothers, and aunts take care of each other; and not just us as their children, but the entire neighborhood. My foundation growing up in Stop Six helped me to understand the power of people. That there is nothing we couldn’t do together to build each other up, and at the same time improving out quality of life. Read more>>

Chance Gibbs | Actor/Producer

I grew up in rural Young County, Texas on my family’s ranch that we’ve had since the late 1800s. Our cattle brand, Bar G, is what I named my film and television production company after, Bar G Moving Pictures. Growing up as an only child, much of my entertainment (when I wasn’t outside) came from the movies. I have always been horror-obsessed but appreciate all genres. When I stayed with my grandmother, it was old movies and westerns, and at home it was cartoons, comedies, dramas, and horror films. Read more>>

Camden DeMetrovich | Producer

I was born here in Texas, I moved a lot at a younger age, actually every semester I would go from Texas to Kentucky and that kept on until second grade. This while a little bit annoying at the time actually gave me the chance to broaden my horizons and explore my musical tastes’ while I was young. My father listened to dance / “club music” (that’s what he calls it) while he grew up. So this left an impact on me and my older brother, we both got really deep in to the EDM scene, me deeper than my brother, but that’s not the point. Read more>>