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.

Justin Peters | Creator and Host of the podcast, The Struggle is Real with Justin Peters

I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. It took my dad 15 years to finish college as he balanced working 2 jobs and raising a family. My parents are frugal and scrappy but I never felt like we didn’t have enough. Observing my parents growing up, I feel like I picked up a lot of their work ethic and resourcefulness. A lot of times I opt for DIY methodologies. A lot can get done with YouTube videos, rolling up your sleeves, and getting to work. Read more>>

Gabriel Martinez | Photographer/Video Creator

I was originally born in Los Angeles California, my parents had married very young so getting a divorce soon after wasn’t a surprise to most/ When I was around 6 years of age my parents had divorced and my dad took custody of me(the best dad anyone could as for). Read more>>

Kelli Pease | Gardener on a mission to share one million flowers

I’m from Southern California and always loved being in gardens. My first memory of nature is being at my grandmother’s house and going out into her beautiful rose garden. She was the one who taught me how to garden growing up and it’s so much fun to invite her over to my garden now so we can share the magic of gardening together. Read more>>

Haley Shabankar | Interior Designer

I’m originally from the Monterey Bay and grew up in Carmel-by-the-Sea, which I feel immensely grateful for. It has a small-town mentality a lot like pockets of north county San Diego with the same laid back surf culture. My Dad and two brothers were heavy into surfing (me on a small scale) so I spent a lot of time by the ocean and just out in nature. I think having that upbringing really grounded me as a person and laid the foundation for my easy going, laid-back personality. Read more>>

Mishayla Spendlove | Personal Trainer & Energy Worker

I am originally from Ogden, Utah, but we moved around A LOT. I went to 13 different schools from 1st grade to 12th, in three different states. Needless to say, I learned to be very adaptable to wherever I am and embrace change very quickly. It actually taught me to CRAVE change and I believe fueled an already restless spirit. It also helped to get me out of my shell as I tended to be a pretty quiet child and dealt with some social anxiety. Read more>>

Ishita Singh | Jewelry Designer/ Artist & Product Program Manager

As an Indian- American immigrant, my upbringing has always been a mixed experience of both American and Indian culture. Though I moved to the United States when I was one, I spent 1/4 of my childhood in India, so I have always had to find a balance between the two different cultures and the assimilation process. Like many young children from a mixed cultural household you end up being two different (yet the same) people in and outside of the home. Read more>>