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.

Xavier Hernandez | Dog Behaviorist

I am originally from Spring Valley in San Diego County. My family is from Mexico and I spent a lot of my childhood in Tecate, as well. In some ways, I had a challenging childhood which led to poor choices down the road as I grew into adulthood. I felt overlooked and misunderstood in my youth, and this prevented me from becoming the best version of myself that I could be. Read more>>

Jorge Contreras | Real Estate Investor and Airbnb Expert and Coach

I went from poverty, having to sell drugs at 7 years old, losing my father, and being abandoned by my mother, to being financially independent and creating a million-dollar business as a real estate investor and coach. Read more>>

JacquelineJoAnn Hughes | Fiber Artist

I live in Ottawa, Illinois . I grew up in Connecticut, moved with my family to five other states. My mother painted and sculpted, my grandmother quilted. My father was in the Navy. I grew up with a very strong mother. She was creative. I believe my mother has a lot to do with my creativity and strength. Read more>> 

Phil Harrold | Creative Director & Event Booking

I’m originally from Greensburg. My dad was a drummer and a sales rep for a Christian record label in the 80’s and 90’s, so music was pretty heavily integrated into every corner of my life from a young age. Read more>>

Alton Olson | DJ Altimate, Master of Ceremonies

I’m originally from Northeast Wisconsin, but I spent a good few years outside of the great state of Wisconsin during some college, and a tour of duty with the United States Army. Having had the opportunity to branch out while meeting and working with people from all different walks of life really taught me a lot. Read more>>

Arielle & Ian | Food bloggers

(Arielle) I grew up in a small town in South Carolina, right on the border of North Carolina. Ian grew up outside of Pasadena (in La Canada), but has lived in San Diego for over a decade. We met through my cousin and his friend, who is now her husband, about seven years ago. We were doing a long distance relationship before I moved out here about five years ago. Read more>> 

Eugene Robinson III | Social Media Manager & Aspiring Music Manager

When I tell people where I am from, I say Los Angeles. But in reality, I am not from any one place. Growing up in the military was quite the experience. My background has had a tremendous impact on me: having to move to a new place every three years, making new friends, an interest in travel and cultural elements like entertainment and sports, and immersing myself in different cultures worldwide. Read more>>