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.

Jeffrey Brandon | Photographer

I am from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Being raise in the type of area impact who I am in a huge way. The way I capture and interact with people of color is one of the most important impact. Capturing the positivity of the urban culture that, being able to travel and instantly connect with the people so I can get the most impactful portraits. Read more>>

Lisa Delashaw-Silveira | The Pepper Lady!

Born and raised in the bay area but my roots are from Texas and Kentucky. I began Canning very young in life it goes all the way back to my childhood spending all of my time in the kitchen with my granny Edythe. So I guess I you would say her memories have kept me loving canning just about everything. After canning for friends and family my whole life I finally decided to turn this into my small business and my Main focus was the candied jalapeño. I decided one day and I needed some sweet and spicy pulled out an old family recipe and turned it into an amazing new favorite recipe and I call them The Perfect Pepper Read more>>

Gracette Baltonado | Marketing Manager

During my younger years, I grew up in the Philippines. I was brought up with traditional filipino culture being family oriented, strong faith and living life with intentions. I am a firm believer of what you give out is what you will also get. I do my best to live my life with honesty and full integrity in all aspects from relationships and professional life. My experience and guidance definitely molded me of who I am today. Read more>>

Victoria Jaeger | Interior Designer

I grew up in Grapevine, TX – a suburb smack dab in between Dallas and Fort Worth. Most say I’m a little bit Dallas, a little bit Fort Worth. If you know Texas, you know what that means. If you aren’t as familiar with Texas, it means that I could put on a pair of high heels one weekend and cowboy boots the next. I could order the finest Wagyu steak this side of town had to offer but could also be perfectly (if not more) happy with Mom’s home cooked meal. Read more>>

Beckie-Ann Galentine | Paranormal Investigator & Content Creator

I was born in an low-income rural coal mining community in Pennsylvania. My parents home was an old barn that they remodeled into a single family home upstairs, with the downstairs being an antique store. Their innovation and resourcefulness encouraged me to continue turning over rocks, seek the unknown and take risks. Following that upbringing, I knew I would never spend time long-term in conventional employment. Read more>>

Giselle Moran | Photographer

I consider myself a creative and very visual individual. Imagination and creativity begins when you are a youngster, in fact, since I was a kid I have been interested in colors, textures, forms and images, that helped me create harmonic compositions without even knowing it. That passion became a porfession. I went to the University and got my master´s degree in graphic design. Read more>>

Samantha Luraschi | Health advocate , pageant queen & future forensic scientist

I come from a very small town in Colorado ; olathe. The population is only 1,800 people . Growing up I lost my mom at the age of 8 due to drug addiction, which meant I was always the talk of the small town gossip. Being brought up with no knowledge of healthy eating , proper hygiene or clean clothes often lead to awful amounts of bullying for me. I always believed that better was meant for me. My upbringing left me with a drive to better myself. It’s left an impact on me because I’ll never forget what’s it’s like to grow up without my mother , or constantly being the small town talk. I hope to see myself in a place in the future able to advocate for other young women who are also struggling . Read more>>