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.

Chrisette Williams | Creative Communications & Social Media Marketer

I’m a born and raised San Diegan. There is no place like home! I’m a first-generation Filipino-Chinese American. Both of my parents are native to the Philippines and moved to the US almost 40 years ago. I come from a long line of hard workers. My great grandfather escaped from the communist party in China and started a rice mill in Vietnam. He created an incredible empire, and from the stories that my grandma tells, she was the princess of her town. Communism hit Vietnam hard, and their family was forced to flee to The Philippines. Read more>>

Scott Tournet | singer and guitarist for Elektric Voodoo

I’m now old enough to be from a lot of places but I was born in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. I grew up the youngest of three boys which definitely impacted who I am today. When you’re the youngest, you’re never the best at anything. You’re always the smallest, slowest, first to bed, etc. You have to fight extra hard to keep up. It taught me how to keep up with the pack and how to learn quickly on the fly. Read more>>

Stephanie Kessl, MPH MS | Community Builder-Connector-Friend | Promoter of Lived Wisdom, Science, & Curiosity

I am a human development specialist, so the question of, “how early life experiences influences our adult life” has been central to my professional career and naturally where I always begin. Being raised in Chicago as the oldest female of 7 siblings with immigrant and multiracial parents, provided me with a unique childhood. My family make-up seamlessly stitched in all sorts of gender, societal, and cultural factors that I continue to tease out to this day. Read more>>