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.

Jessie Sutherland | Director of Intercultural Strategies and the founder of the award winning Belonging Matters Framework

I am from Vancouver, Canada. I was born into foster care and then adopted into a Scottish Canadian family. I went to French Immersion school and was very passionate about the world growing up. I went on to live and work across Canada, including Indigenous communities; Europe; the Middle East; various countries on the continent of Africa; Peru in South America; and the U.S.A. All these experiences taught me about the strengths, values and wisdom embedded in every culture. And the importance of worldviews in influencing how we see the world, our attitudes and behaviours. Read more>>

Maria Monzon | Makeup Artist & Esthetician

My family and I are from Argentina. We moved to the US when I was only 3 years old. And just like so many people we came here for a better life, to survive.My parents worked so hard to give my sisters and I the life they couldn’t have, and they did it. We’re living the dream. Being an immigrant has come with so many challenges but I’m grateful for the life I have here and for the person I’ve become, I may not have been born here but Dallas will always be home. Read more>>

Earth | Owner of ‘Earth Got The Remedies’ The Spiritual Shop, Holistic Doula & Creatrix.

I’m from New Orleans, Louisiana: A small area called Mischoud but also known as the 9th ward in the eastern area of New Orleans. Growing up, the 9th ward was known for poverty, murder, and robbery… overall high crime. I grew up in a single parent household with 5 siblings, through that experience I was forced to grow up early. Money was tight and there was no sense of stability. Although growing up was rough what I do admire about the The 9th ward and city of New Orleans was the culture, including Mardi Gras, Secondline Sundays, Authentic Creole Food, and The Voodoo. Read more>>