Where you grew up and your background can often have surprising effects on our lives and careers. We’ve asked folks from the community to tell us about how their background has affected them

Matthew and Mark Schultzel | Matthew Schultzel DO | Minimally-Invasive Colorectal and Robotic General Surgeon; Mark Schultzel MD MBA | Orthopaedic Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon & Health Technologies Entrepeneur

We are originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but spent a significant amount of our growing years traveling abroad. Our parents came from humble beginnings: our father served as a Green Beret during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, using the GI Bill to earn a college degree. Because of his efforts and determination, he became a very successful senior partner at a very famous international consulting firm. Our parents took us abroad when Dad had a work assignment or for family travel so that we could experience the world. It was the best gift our parents could have given us, as we gained so much perspective – the world truly is small, and despite many unique nuances within each culture, we have so many similarities that can be used to find common ground. Read more>>

Oscar Carrion | Musician and High School Teacher

I am from Chula Vista, CA. I grew up on both sides of the border, in a sense. I went to school in Imperial Beach and on weekends my family and I would cross the border to run errands or simply have dinner in Tijuana. I remember not enjoying having to go into Mexico when I was a young child. I thought the roads were not well kept and and the smell of sewage was unwelcoming. As I started getting older I started to realize that being able to go to Mexico, actually, was a privilege. I started to notice how much more vibrant the culture was. The Tijuananses were always kind, as long as we weren’t sharing the road. Read more>>

Zen Bon JPC | Rogue Zen Monk

I was born in Kansas City, Mo. and there were so many trials that have contributed to the person I am today. When I was 8, I attempted suicide and was hospitalized. My father was abusive, and my parents were divorcing. I was diagnosed with ADHD and Bipolar depression. At the time I attended a Methodist Church and prayed for my feelings of self-harm to be resolved. I was very loyal to my father despite the abuse which was very destructive to my relationship with my mother, My father would die in a car accident when I was 13, it left me angry, lost, hurt and very confused. Read more>>

Pocho | 3 piece band

We were all born in North County San Diego to immigrant parents. Our first language was Spanish and we all had to learn to maneuver this country from a young age. Seeing injustices and discrimination as a child makes you want to scream. Now as adults we have a voice our parents and some loved ones still don’t have have. That is what drives us an influences our music. Read more>>

Mario Vasquez a.k.a (Official Gaston) | Singer-songwriter, Contemporary Hip-hop Producer, and Musician. Local Business Owner of Underdog Pet Stylist, est. 2015, Oxnard, C.A.

I grew up in Oxnard, California. My dad passed away when I was one, so it was just my mom and I for the first 14 years of my life. I now have three siblings, two sisters and one brother. I spent most of my childhood heavily influenced by music. I started studying music, taking private Bass Lessons and playing bass in a cover band when I was twelve years old. Little did I know, this was the start of my music career. Read more>>