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.

Cindy Ashton | Award-Winning TV Host, Singer, Actor, Keynote Performer and Presentation Trainer

As a fetus, I was swimming around my mother’s belly sporting jazz hands. I always knew that I was destined to grace stages across the world… but my body had other plans for me. I was born with a 20% of living, heart failure and structural damage on the left side of my body. I had my 1st heart surgery at 11 days old, my 2nd at 5 years old and a 3rd at 14. I had to have casts on my legs as a toddler in hopes that my legs would grow out correctly and I would be able to walk… let alone dance. I had speech therapy to learn how to speak… let alone sing. Read more>>

Dontae Peoples | Artist

I was born in Frankfurt, Germany but raised in Columbia, South Carolina. Ive been fortunate to have had the opportunity to live in different countries and states at a young age which made me a well rounded person. My background and upbringing impacted me the most by being exposed to different cultures, ethnicity and social classes and having the ability to adapt in any room. Ive had the opportunity to be exposed to so much over the years and its taught me that the world is much bigger than just the area you’re from and wanting to make an impact not just locally but globally. Read more>>

Sarah Landers | Florist and Landscape Designer

My family moved to Brazil when I was 6 years old, and I remained there until starting college in the U.S.A. at age 19. My parents still live there. Growing up in such a vibrant culture shaped me in a number of ways. In my work as a florist and garden designer, that is most apparent in my love for saturated colors. I love color, the bolder the better! My parents were avid gardeners all throughout my childhood. My dad was passionate about growing vegetables and was always thrilled when the collard greens grew taller than my brother and me. Read more>>