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.

Cindy Vu | Real Estate Agent

I was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the US with my parents when I was very young. They came to America with just $90 in their pocket. Growing up, I knew my family lacked financial independence but they always made sure to provide everything they could for me and my sister. My parents always raised us to understand the value of hard work and to make the most of every opportunity, since where we come from, opportunities are often very limited. Additionally, my parents stressed the importance of finding something that also provides fulfillment and happiness. Therefore, I have grown to have the mindset that if I find something that I love doing, I will be great at it and financial success will follow. Read more>>

Ashley McCarthy | Visual Artist

I’m from the Bay Area, born and raised in the North Bay. My upbringing impacted me greatly. My parents have always been supportive of my artistic passions growing up and all throughout school. My older brother was also into art, so that impacted me as well. The dedication I was instilled with in my upbringing continues on to this very day. My mom is always asking me to text her photos of what I’m currently working on, which I love. Read more>>

Delana Delgado | Film Photographer and Founder of ‘Around The Way Girls’ / Curatorial Assistant & Programs Coordinator for The Hill Street Country Club gallery

I was born and raised in the South Bay and South East San Diego, and my work and personal identity has definitely been heavily influenced by my familial upbringing – as well as the communities I’ve been surrounded by my whole life. I spent the first 7 years of my life in Paradise Hills until we moved to Chula Vista, where my parents still reside. I was raised by two 1st generation Puerto Rican parents who were born and raised in the Bronx, New York who had just recently moved to California before I was born. Read more>>