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.

Lamar Kelley | Musician & Restaurant Owner

I’m from Seattle, Washington. Ive been here in Texas since around 2002. Grew up here and starting skateboarding around DFW with a few guys in the area. Ended up taking a gnarly slam one day. I had a back injury where I had to wear a back brace for two years. That was over ten years ago now, and that is definitely what kickstarted me into what I do today. Having limited access to movement, I had to learn to explore my imagination in a different way. I had to find joy without my first love, Skateboarding. Read more>>

My’Asia Jaaber | Vegan Baker & Teacher

I was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. I grew up with two loving mothers. A big part of my upbringing was Sunday dinners with my family. Each Sunday we had dinner at our house and our family would come over. It was something I looked forward to, especially cooking, not so much the dishes. We had free-choice of cleaning to prepare for Sunday dinners. You can choose to clean the bathroom, living room, or kitchen. Read more>>

Adriana Semidey | CEO of Budget Bee Financial and Tax Services

I was born and raised in Texas, however I am a First Generation American. When my parents came to this country, all they had were the clothes on their back and give or take one hundred dollars. My parents had to learn the hard way how to build credit, the importance of credit, how to purchase a car, a home, how to file taxes, etc. These things were never taught to my parents coming from a different country to the states, so how would they be able to teach their children proper finances? I am so thankful that by the time I was old enough, my parents learned most of this and instilled in me the importance of financial freedom. Read more>>

chloe garner | Event Planner & Designer

I’m from Ft Worth Tx. I grew up in a small suburb of Ft Worth called Forest Hill.  I became a mom at 17. During those 9 months I experienced every emotion possible at 17. I was scared, unsure of myself and my capabilities of raising a child so young. I was disappointed in myself, embarrassed, and I felt having a kid had diminished my dreams and aspirations of going to college and figuring out what I wanted to become. But out of all of those negative feelings I felt about myself came my motivation, my drive, my determination that I would not become all the things that society made teen pregnancy to be. Read more>>

Katie Dowden | Educator & Non-Profit Leader

I’m originally from Pleasanton, California and have a big, loud, loving family. I have three younger siblings. My mom’s father was a first generation American and instilled an innate desire to work hard that can be seen in the generations to follow. Despite not having much at all, they were thankful and humbled by what they did have. My parents were both raised in lower income households and worked so diligently and intentionally to provide a better life for my siblings and I. Learning about my parents’ backgrounds and having conversations with my grandparents, Read more>>