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.

Ashley Orlando | Jazz Vocalist, Ukulele Artist and Charisma Coach

I’m originally from a small town in Louisiana called Ponchatoula (about an hour north of New Orleans). I’ve been singing since before I can remember. My desire to communicate through music was definitely influenced in part by my environment and Louisiana’s deep musical roots. But although I discovered jazz at an early age, I wasn’t really exposed to it live as a kid except at Mardi Gras or on occasional trips to the French Quarter when we’d pass musicians busking in the street. These groups fascinated me, and I even did a social studies fair project on the history of jazz in 4th grade. Read more>>

Darien Martus | Recording Artist, Do It Records/Sony

Born, raised a couple miles outside of Detroit. Originally a semi-rural area that was later developed. Lots of tree climbing. Walking through fields picking wild berries. Loved solitude in nature. Still do. So much. Now live in a small cabin in the forest in the mountains of Southern California. My songwriting happens exclusively in this place. The quiet. The trees. The seasons. Read more>>

Derek White | Photographer

I’m from a relatively small town in the LA county, called Palmdale. How my background impacts me today, I would say that is mostly due to my mother and my father and my brother, all being entrepreneurs in their own way. It’s safe to say that I come from an entrepreneurial family, we’ve all had our ideas, and we’ve all sought to put our ideas action. But I come from a background of individuals were incredibly creative very self-sufficient and highly ambitious. Read more>>

Karla Slack | Traditional Mexican Dance Instructor and Office Manager

I am from Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world. I grew up loving my culture and my roots. Since I was a child I learned the meaning of love for my country through artistic expression. I started dancing when I was 8 years old and since then my job has been to spread and preserve Mexican traditions and customs wherever I go, because for me it is very important that the new generations learn and identify their culture wherever they are. Read more>>