Through our work we have had the good fortune of seeing firsthand how success comes in every shape, size, color, faith, and orientation. More importantly we’ve learned that success is often the result of people embracing their unique backgrounds and so we’ve asked the community to tell us about their background and how it has impacted where they are today.

Thanos Willey | Audio Engineer

I am from the central Texas area. My background and upbringing impacted me in a positive way. My family is kind and did everything within their power to provide a good life for me growing up. I was taught good core values and convictions that I still live by to this day. Hard work and perseverance were instilled in me at an early age. I remember days when I was a kid that my family and I would clean our apartment together every Sunday morning. We would listen to Motown, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s music while mopping floors and cleaning the rooms. I learned that discipline and consistency are key factors to success. If there was something that I wanted in life, then I would have to work hard to achieve it. My dreams began back in the late 90’s. My family and I visited my Uncle Robert in Port Arthur in 1998 and 1999. Read more>>

Jesus Treviño | Artist, Art Organizer

I’m from Brownsville, a city on the southern border of Texas. Growing up I picked up on a general pessimism about being from there. I was being told I needed to leave, that the city is a dead end, and that staying means you’re stuck in a situation you don’t want to be in. Because region/ location is intrinsically tied to heritage and sense of self, that dismissal of place translated into a denial of cultural identity. In my formative years, I was absorbing negative feelings and connotations about being Mexican. That in combination with being disconnected from family, led to an active rejection of who I was. Being American meant success, comfort, and security, and to be American, in my narrow world view, meant you don’t speak Spanish, don’t listen to “rancherito music”, etc. Read more>>