Even if you are from the same neighborhood as someone else, you might still be coming from different places. Where you are from is a complicated question and it elicits complicated, but interesting and thought-provoking responses. We’ve shared some of those responses below.

Crystal Capler | Family Nurse Practitioner & Entrepreneur

I was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. In the wake of my mother’s untimely death from stage 4 breast cancer, I was raised in a single father household. At the time of her death, I was only 10 years old. I recall my father picking up my little brother and I from school and taking us to see our mother at the hospital for the last time before she passed away. I grew up in a neighborhood called Virden Dition which is a poverty-stricken neighborhood, but honestly, my father made it feel like the suburbs. He instilled in me hard work, dedication, and commitment. Seeing my father going to work every day as a construction worker showed me dedication and commitment. Read more>>

Tamara Chauniece | Singer/Songwriter/Creative

How big is your faith? In my eyes, the risks you are willing to take are a measure of your faith. Taking a leap not knowing what awaits you on the other end, but trusting that whatever it is will lead you to destiny is how dreams are fully realized. Back in 2017, when I was approached about being a member of The Shindellas, I was living in Dallas in search of what was next. I’d been working with local producers on my solo endeavors all the while posting clips of myself singing online. I’d been posting clips for years and experienced several viral moments from Vine, to Facebook to Instagram. From this, I’d gained a pretty substantial following and had been in conversation with a good few major record labels. Read more>>

Jonathan Niziol | Wellness Advocate: Nurturing Mental and Physical Health | International Model | Fitness Coach

I am a native of Ontario Canada, born in April 1982 and spent my early years on a farm in the area of Peterborough which served as my playground. It was here where I developed my hockey prowess, proudly representing in competitions across Ontario. My love for lacrosse grew during my childhood, playing dedicatedly for the major series lacrosse and the esteemed Brooklin Lacrosse Club. Growing up on a farm instilled in me valuable lessons about hard work, discipline and freedom making it a fantastic environment to grow up in. Read more>>

Shun Foreman | Health Advocate & Founder of Sugar Mode Off

Growing up in Tyler, Texas, I observed my mother’s unwavering dedication and hard work toward serving the community. Her selfless efforts to positively impact people’s lives significantly influenced my personality and professional development in nursing. As a result, I felt a strong calling to pursue a career in the healthcare field to continue her legacy of compassion and service. During my studies in human rights and social justice, I gained a deeper understanding of the high prevalence of health disorders like high blood pressure and diabetes in my community. Read more>>

Michael Guinn | Actor/Poet/Event Coordinator

I am from Jacksonville Texas, East Texas just south of Tyler. My background was one of poverty fueled adversity. I grew up in Jacksonville Texas, east on I-20, straight south down 69, left on East Lincoln, just north of downtown. Back in the 70s, neighborhood gossip was our clubhouse, the town newspaper was our social media and Football fueled our Friday nights.. Our house was a tiny 2 bedroom-1 bath, way too small for 5 boys, 2 parents, one cat and some very bold mice. When I was nine years old, our family was burning trash in the backyard. Someone “unknowingly” threw in a spray paint can which exploded. Read more>>

D’Ann Mateer | Novelist

I grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas, in a family that valued education. Both my parents were trained as teachers and my maternal grandparents both held Master’s Degrees! With all of that focus, I was introduced to reading early. I devoured books from the moment I could read. And once I realized people wrote the stories I was reading, I wanted to do that, too. Through the years I had many people encourage me to pursue my writing, including teachers, college professors, my parents, and friends. However, I didn’t begin to seriously pursue publication of my writing (although that was always the dream) until I was in my early thirties. It still took another ten years to see my first novel in print. Read more>>

Erin Newton | Artist

I’m from around. I am an heiress to generations of larger-than-life Southern Gothic characters replete with tragedy, back-breaking and soul-crushing struggles to bend earth to will, sacrifice, warring, quiet steadfastness that in an earlier time seems to have been understood as “love,” religious customs that border on the bizarre, scrounging, and some threads of dark humor running throughout. Fragments of stories and sepia-tinted somber photographs of malnourished, weather-beaten husks of serious-looking people, passed down to me advise that I, too, will face the inevitable challenges and tragedy, but hope and perseverance will see me through. Just like you, I stand on the shoulders of flawed but willful giants. Read more>>