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.

Polly Moore | BSN, RN. Aesthetic Nurse

I’m originally from Sonoma County in Northern California, but I’ve lived in San Diego for about 15 years. Growing up, I was always around the medical field—My dad was a family physician and my mom, a pediatric dentist. I loved visiting their offices or going with my dad on his rounds at the hospital.    While I had an interest in the medical world, I was also passionate about art. I like to paint, craft, design, and create. Working on random projects in my free time, as well as taking formal art classes, was always a big part of my childhood, adolescence, and college experience. I am very fortunate that artistry is an important aspect of my career today. After nursing school I was drawn to the world of aesthetics, as I knew this was an area of medicine that would allow me to combine my love for nursing and art. Read more>>

Denise Scatena | Publicist & Business Owner

I was born and raised in San Diego. I am a third-generation San Diegan, with roots established in Barrio Logan, City Heights, and Clairemont. I come from a line of entrepreneurs who owned neighborhood markets, an after hours parking lot sweeping service, a popular hamburger stand, and managed apartment rentals. Both of my grandfathers had careers in civil service, in addition to managing these businesses. I guess that is where I get my passion for entrepreneurship and community service. Read more>>

Jemila Pratt | Middle School Teacher & Mentor, Writer, and Creative

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but my family is from Sierra Leone, West Africa. Growing up in an immigrant family has undoubtedly impacted my values, perspective, and experiences in life. As part of the first generation of Americans in our family, I have the unique experience and appreciation of both worlds, as I have been able to thrive within two vastly different cultures. The importance of culture and pride in West African culture has been one of my most valued influences. Rich dishes that reflect our tribe, rituals paying homage to our traditions, and music are some aspects of our culture that help me connect to my family here in the U.S. and abroad. This connection allows me to easily relate to and respect other cultures, and has inspired a love for international travel. Heritage is infused in everything I do, including my writing and business ventures. I craft stories that highlight my homeland and go beyond the doom trope that can often be associated with Africa as a whole. In business, all my body and hair care products are made with very few ingredients, which is a nod to living simply and using elements that come from nature. Read more>>

Apryl Martinez | Herbalist | Wildcrafter | Maker

San Diego may not be the setting when we think of a wild, free-range country kid’s childhood, but there are still little places within the county that have remained natural and rural. I had the privilege of calling such a place home. Before my arrival on this earth, my parents moved from Del Mar to a small unincorporated town called Valley Center. As a teen, I was often miffed by that choice, preferring the coastal climate and beaches, unaware of how good I had it and the invaluable lessons country life had given me. I never had to learn how to garden; it was a skill instilled in me from a very young age. Wandering rows of strawberries, getting scratched and pricked by thorny blackberries, and hands sticky from peeling oranges are some of my earliest memories. Acres of land covered in native plants gave me plenty to explore and a lifetime to develop relationships with some remarkable potent plants. Read more>>

Stephanie Louise | Rhythm Guitar (and sass!) For Ramblin Sweethearts

I grew up in Kailua, HI (island of O’ahu) back when it used to be a quiet little beach town. I was an only child until my mid-teens, and my single Mom worked multiple jobs, so I relied heavily on using my wild imagination and listening to music for entertainment. By the time I was a teenager, I was really into the [very small] local punk scene and would make pins and patches for the local bands, etc. when it finally dawned on me that, hey, I love music so much, why am I not playing it? I learned bass from my Dad well enough to practice with some friends, though unfortunately, nothing ever came to fruition. It wasn’t until years later when I met my talented musician husband that I picked up his guitar and instantly felt that spark and decided to finally put my all into learning an instrument. Read more>>

Crystal Washington | Actress/Entrepreneur

I am from Baltimore, Maryland. I did not have an easy childhood growing up as I spent some of my years in the foster care system until my aunt and uncle rescued me. I went to go live with them when I was 8 years old and my aunt who I call Mom is an amazing woman. I was raised in a christian household and sometimes the rules were very strict but I am glad. The trails, tribulations, morals and values make me the person I am today. By God’s grace I am able to persevere through any obstacle that comes my way. I also believe that growing up in the foster care system and enduring the things I did in those times made me strong and gave me the witts to survive on my own. It made me a diligent person as well because it thought me that nothing in life is free, you got to work. Read more>>