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.

Shavonne Winston | Home Stager and Professional Organizer

Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, my parents introduced us to the arts at a young age. I started with ballet at the age of 3 and eventually branched out to modern, lyrical, and hip hop dance, but it didn’t stop there. In middle school, I decided to learn the viola which I continued to play up until high school where I then started to learn more about photography and theater. Looking back I never truly understood the impact this had on my life. Read more>>

Gary Peterson | gap intelligence CEO

I spent most of my childhood in Fort Worth, Texas and my parents were both Great Depression kids. They grew up dirt poor, didn’t go to college, and simply outworked and out hustled their way to raising a great family and enjoying a comfortable life. While they provided for me, they also taught me how to work and work hard, which gave me a great mindset to start the company 20 years ago. Read more>>

Melinda Barragan | Owner & Founder of Chula Glamour

I’m from Los Angeles,CA. I’m Mexican-American and I come from immigrant parents. My background and upbringing have impacted who I am today in every way possible. My parents have taught me everything including having a great work ethic and working hard to achieve my goals. Although I grew up in a humble home, my parents always told us we (my sisters and I) could achieve anything and that getting a higher education was very important. Read more>>

Ariella Tintle | Hairstylist

I grew up in San Jose california with my parents and younger sister. I have to say I grew up in a very open and close-knit family and my parents definitely set up an environment where my sister and I were allowed to create and explore who and what we wanted to be, we were always told that It didn’t matter what we wanted to do as long as we were willing to work hard for it. Read more>>

Karla Pasten | Designer, Letterering Artist & Typeface Designer

I am from Pachuca Hidalgo, in the center of Mexico, however my heart belongs to the northwest of Mexico, specifically to the city of Mazatlan and Culiacan, Sinaloa. Since I was a child it was always my dream to study graphic design, so I was always thinking about how to improve. In high school I spent all my time drawing and dreamed of becoming an illustrator, but in the end, life led me to dream more about drawing letters. Read more>>

Steve Wolff | Musician and Entrepreneur

I grew up in London, UK studying science and engineering first in London and then getting my Masters in the US (both in Chemical Engineering). I’m from London, UK originally but for the past 22 years, San Diego’s home, before then I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. Musically, I played a bit in the UK but really started getting into it out of necessity when I moved to the US for grad school, funded by the UK government. I can “thank” George Soros (the investor) for that. Read more>>