Through our work we have had the good fortune of seeing firsthand how success comes in every shape, size, color, faith, and orientation. More importantly we’ve learned that success is often the result of people embracing their unique backgrounds and so we’ve asked the community to tell us about their background and how it has impacted where they are today.

Sean McCole | Musician, Singer-Songwriter

I’m originally from the Chicagoland area. Coming from the midwest it sort of seems like a vacuum (at least from the entertainment side of things) You really have to hustle because you definitely feel like you’re competing with the great forces of both the east and west coast. While there are a ton of amenities in Chicago, being a world class city, we’re not technically under the nose of particular resources you have say in NY, LA or even Nashville. Seems like a lot of artists and musicians are just fighting to stay alive and relevant. However, Chicago still seems to have a very nurturing music community and some of the best clubs to hunker down and work on your craft and showmanship. Read more>>

Yinka Freeman | Founder, Triple Pocket Events

I was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa and grew up between the US and different African countries. Growing up an as international child has impacted my adult life a ton. The most prominent way my background has impacted my life is in the people I surround myself with. My friends, colleagues and network are extremely diverse. I appreciate being surrounded by others that are different from me; I love learning and participating in other cultures. I find that it has opened up my world and made me a very open-minded adult. Read more>>

Iman Khosrowpour | Musician and Educator, Entrepreneur

I am originally from Iran, and my family emigrated to the United States when I was two years old. After ten years in Dallas, Texas, my family moved to Irvine, California. The formative high school years had a profound impact on my development; I was fortunate to benefit from the stellar Irvine public school system, and my school ensemble (at Irvine High School) was one of the premiere programs in the region. I was also very lucky to find an outstanding violin teacher, William R. Kennedy, who took me under his wing, helped me develop a love for music and learning, and remains a mentor to this day. I doubt that I would have found the path to music if it were not for my years in Irvine. Read more>>

Michelle Luna Reynoso | Attorney

I am from National City, in South Bay San Diego. I am not monochromatic. My background and upbringing provided the rich and colorful palette that I use to provide depth, structure, and perspective to my personal and professional life. I am a criminal defense attorney, a homegirl, an Aztec dancer, a surfer, a Chicana, a coach, a mentor, and a grassroots organizer. I am my mother’s American dream. Read more>>

Sora Miller-Carlos | Small Business Owner-Owner/Founder, Alpaca Picnic and Events

I was born in South Korea and came to the US when I was just 7 years old. When I think back about my childhood, I feel tremendously blessed to have had so many wonderful memories growing up here, and the life that I’ve been fortunate to live with a small group of family and friends who have supported me with unwavering love as I navigated through life’s ups and downs. Read more>>