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.

Kristyn Harris | Western Singer, Songwriter & Musician

Well, number one, I’m a born and raised Texan. I grew up knowing that I had roots that are connected to wide open spaces, the old west, ranching, and just general independence – simply because I knew I was a Texan. I guess my parents had some pride in that heritage that they passed on to me. I had an additional advantage, though, in that I was raised on a small family farm. It wasn’t a commercial operation, but we raised food for ourselves, and I was in charge of all the animal chores. Read more>>

Dr. Julee Kim Walker | Associate Professor of Flute, Texas A&M University-Commerce

I was born in Houston, TX to South Korean immigrant parents. I grew up only speaking Korean in the household, and learned English in grade school. I am bilingual and very thankful that my parents taught us Korean and sent us to Korean school every Saturday. Being raised in a city that has always been a melting pot of cultures has positively impacted who I am today. As a college professor and first generation college students. I am able to understand the many cultural differences of my students, many of whom are also first generation college students and children of immigrant parents. Read more>>

Mariana Blanco | Balloon Deccorator

Hello, I was born in San Miguel de Allende GTO. MEXICO, however I immigrated to the Dallas area with my parents and siblings when I was 16 years old. I was able to complete my high school education and attended some college. My upbringing was marked by both my Mexican heritage and life in the United States. When I had my first born child I would take months preparing for her birthday parties. I soon realized I loved to make all kind of things to make beautiful parties, everything from birthday invitations to all the decorations. Celebrating life’s beautiful moments is shared through my Mexican culture. Read more>>

Alyx & Vivian | Co-Owners of The Boba Plug

Hello, we’re Alyx & Vivian, co-founders of The Boba Plug. We both have similar yet very different background and upbringings that impact that shapes who we are today. Vivian will start with her story. I’m Vivian and I was born and raised in San Jose, California. San Jose is a melting pot of ethnicities and being introduced to different cultures was easy and accepted. With that I embraced my Chinese-Vietnamese heritage and all the food and traditions that came along with it. An important part of my upbringing that relates to boba is how my family would go to Mom & Pop stores after school. Read more>>

Malik Oliver | Rising Independent Gospel Artist

I am from Russellville, AR and my background for church and God came from my raising. My mom and grandmother instilled in us the consistency of attending church and he active in the church. I started singing at the age of 3 and the rest was history. The church has helped me learn who I am and what my core values are. Read more>>

Alecia Kinne | Business Owner/Realtor

I’m a Texas girl, born in San Antonio but raised all over! My father was in the military so we moved around every few years to different cities, states and countries. Starting over repeatedly as a child gave me a very different perspective on life. I learned to adjust, dive in and thrive in unfamiliar territory! Those experiences shaped who I am today. Meeting people from different cultures, learning new languages and history and experiencing the world in a whole new way, helped to create in me, a love and appreciation of people and traveling. Read more>>

Kimberly Parker, LPC, LCDC | Owner and Therapist of Revive to Thrive Wellness Center, PLLC

I was originally born in San Diego, California; however, I spent most of my life living in Murrieta and Temecula (about an hour away from San Diego). From a very young age, I knew that I wanted to be a helping professional, but I was unsure of what my dream job would be. Initially, I thought I wanted to be a Doctor or Dentist, but after taking Anatomy and Physiology, I quickly revisited my options. Thereafter, I decided to major in Psychology and minor in Sociology. During my undergraduate career, I took a course that introduced the idea of group therapy (with Dr. Steven Frieze of CSU, Dominguez Hills) and it was an amazing experience. Read more>>

Pastor JT Maberry | Verified Artist | Podcast Host | Sr. Pastor

I’m from Ft. Worth Texas. I believe my up bringing and background has played a enormous impact in who I am. I’m the Grandson of the Late Pastor Dever L. Barrett who was a pillar in the community. He founded The East Cleburne Community Center in Cleburne, Texas. In which they have a scholarship award given to the selected students in Cleburne. The son of the Late Pastor Jerome T. Maberry in which served as treasurer for the Saint John Landmark District of the Baptist Convention. He was as a Entrepreneur. Carpenter, photographer, among a few gifts and talents that I was blessed to have myself. Read more>>

Tashayla Weathersby | Ceo of Isis Commodity | Physic Spiritualist | Artist & Entrepreneur

I am from Monroe , Louisiana small country town where everyone is related literally the bottoms of the bottom , you might have heard about the town from The to series “Duck Dynasty “ which is in West Monroe right around the corner of where I was born . I come from a single mother of 4 girls background so one thing I have always seen from the women in my family is how hard they work & how resilient they are til this day. My aunt was a teacher of 40 years in the Louisiana school system I was happy enough to get to attend the school she worked at , this gave me free access to books , binders , pens and all the great school supply you can think of but for FREE ! Read more>>

Jeff Hancock | CEO & Dishwasher

I was blessed to grow up with two great parents and a brother that has become one of my best friends. My family moved to Saudi Arabia when I was two years old, and we lived there for 10 years. We were able to travel the world together and experience many foreign countries and cultures. This experience allowed me to appreciate the gifts that I was given in life and unknowingly, perhaps, influenced a lot of my decision making. After moving back to the United States, I attended high school in Spring, Texas. I then moved to New York for college to create another new experience at Cornell University. Read more>>