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.

Marcelino Lopez | Realtor

I was born in North Carolina then moved to Phoenix, AZ. Both of my parents immigrated from Mexico to the U.S where they started their own businesses. As you can imagine growing up with two entrepreneur parents, you tend to enjoy the fruits of their business as well as the downside of their business. In 2008, I saw my parents go from being on top of world to losing it all in just a few weeks; I was 12 years old when this happened. I remember walking into the living room and my parents were sitting on the couch crying. Read more>>

Michael Vanorsby | Chef/Owner

Growing up on the southside of Chicago me and my three brothers had the kind of up bringing that will make you out of a man at a very early age. Living in a single parent home my mom did everything she could to provide for me and my brothers so me being the oldest of the three I took on the role of father figure and I would help my mom take care of my brothers ,we took care of each other and that mold me into who I am today. Some nights not having food and having no power would be hard for any kid to go through but it made us strong minded,good hearted,and not afraid of anything which could be all good quality to have in life. Read more>>

Robens Caimitte | DJ Benz. Disc Jockey and Owner of Mobile DJ company.

I am born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and lived in Philadelphia from High school to 2017 when I moved to Phoenix. My background and upbringing has truly molded my characteristics and my drive. Coming where I come from, you have to scrap for every single thing you need. It’s a dog eat dog world so tough skin is a must. Not to mention the glitz and glamour that’s staring in your face across the bridge everyday in the NYC skyline. The hustle and grit was installed in me to always strive for better. That motivation along with my love for music put me in a direction that i’m always thankful for taking. Read more>>

Devin Egbert | Photographer

I come from a family where both my parents were self – employed business owners. I saw their hard work, dedication, and integrity and how they handled trials throughout their careers. I also saw the flexibility they had when it came to the things they really wanted to do, whether that be family trips or trips with friends, being able to attend school functions for my sister and I, or being able to go to doctors appointments without having to worry about PTO or absences from work. Seeing their work ethic and their commitment to their goals paid off in all aspects, made me want to get into a career that I could have the same flexibility and the same kind of dedication to my family. Read more>>

Oris Shaw | Artist & Dance Educator

I am from Jamaica. Born in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, and raised mostly in Kingston. I would say that I am from an artistic family. My mom was a teacher specializing in early childhood education but she is really good in art and craft and she did music. My father was not so much into the craft but he encouraged it. I had family members who did music on an international level so we were always around artistic persons. I started at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts where I did eight years of classical guitar and then studied Dance Education. I am a trained dance educator. Read more>>

UI Obiouba | Voice Of The Brand

Obiouba U. Isaac is my name, I hale from Eket, L.G.A in Akwa Ibom State to be precise ( The Land of Promise) all in Nigeria. First and foremost Parenting and once background encapsulates a lot of moral factors which affect an individual’s way of life, understanding to certain things within the environment he/she dwells in, How the response to certain changes and adaptation, how they perceive other people’s opinion, also to what extent they value and respect other people’s religion, culture, tradition and norms. Read more>>

Lucy and Julie Atkins | Mother and daughter YouTube team!

We both grew up near the beautiful medieval city of Norwich, England. Even now, after living in America for many years, we are still influenced by the history, culture and people of the area in our work. We draw on this regularly, most recently when we created videos about Norfolk ghost stories for Halloween! We moved to Arizona at separate times after marrying our wonderful American husbands, and now, most of our content is about our experiences and culture shocks as Brits abroad. Our perspective is always filtered through the lens of people who grew up in the rural, green suburbs of Norwich, which provides an interesting and vibrant contrast to our new home in Arizona! Read more>>

Tricia Lynn Navarro | Business Owner, Baker & Chef

I was raised in Phoenix, Arizona by both parents. The oldest of four; 3 daughters and one son. Raised in a Mexican family restaurant setting with my entire family, aunts, uncles, and cousins from both parents’ side’s of the family. My grandparents were our rock and foundation. I came from a time where I saw my 60-70 family members every day or at least all within that week. Our restaurant was open for over 20 years in the valley. We all celebrated every holiday together and our family was very close, something you don’t find too much of today because everyone is always busy. When the restaurant closed in the early 90s it was devastating for our family. Then when our Nana Bertha passed, nothing was ever the same again. Our family lost that closeness. I’m hoping to one day open my own restaurant and bring back that closeness to our family tree and to leave a continued legacy for my grandparents, Robert & Bertha Navarro. Read more>>

Misae Camilleri | Nail Artist

I was born and raised as my parents second daughter in Saitama, Japan which is next to Tokyo. Ever since I was little, I had passion for colors and nails.
I decided to become a nail artist when I was in high school and went to beauty college for 2 years to learn about nails. After I graduated from college, I started working at a nail salon called esNAIL in Shibuya, Tokyo. They had 8 or 9 salons in Japan and 2 salons in Los Angeles at that time. I had an opportunity to work at one of their salons in Los Angeles in 2016. That is the reason why I ended up moving to the U.S. I have worked in Los Angeles for 4 years with esNAIL. After the pandemic happened, I moved to Arizona but I couldn’t find any nail salons that offer Japanese Gel Nails so I decided to build my own nail studio to provide high-quality gel nails. Read more>>