Even if you are from the same neighborhood as someone else, you might still be coming from different places. Where you are from is a complicated question and it elicits complicated, but interesting and thought-provoking responses. We’ve shared some of those responses below.

Alexander Ramirez | Soccer Coach and Educator

I was born and raised in Vista, California and I still reside there to this day. My parents got divorced when I was about four years old, but luckily they maintained a relationship that was in the best interest of my brother and I. Yet in still, life was super hard for a single mother raising two young boys. My father was absolutely present, but it still did not make life easy going back and forth between houses. Looking back though, they made it work and I am forever grateful for that. My older brother was the first to play recreational soccer and I can still remember sitting on the sidelines of his games, just waiting for my chance to get out there. Read more>>

Big Tommy Burns | Strongman & Strongwoman Ambassador

I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. I grew up like most people in a loving but uniquely dis functional family and environment. My family and community were loving people who took care of each other for the most part, but it was filled with violence, drama, poverty, drugs, gangs, mental health battles, tragedy and the struggle to succeed and triumph over it all. My mother and father were both two young teenagers in the mid-1980’s, that knew nothing more than the street life and living in the hood when I was born. My mom was 14 years old and my father was 16 years old. They weren’t a couple nor did they have any intention on being together after I was born. Read more>>

Charles Hall Jr | Comedian & Content Creator

I grew up a military brat, so I moved around alot growing up. I spent a lot of time in Hinesville, Georgia before moving to the Pacific Northwest at 17 years old. I consider those two areas as homes. Moving around a lot allowed me to be exposed to many types of people and cultures. As a result, I feel I can related to more people than the average person. Read more>>

Kaylee Daugherty | Singer, Musician & Teacher

I am from the little ol’ town of Banning, California up near Riverside. As an only child, I was heavily supported by my parents and that has given me the confidence to try wild things, fall on my face, and try again. I really do think that we are a culmination of our opportunities, whether purposefully or not, and I am who I am today from a mixture of happenstance and hard work. As a child in church, I was given opportunities to perform in a choir and worship team setting. In elementary school I was able to join band as a percussionist, in high school marching band as drum captain and in university concert band as percussion section leader. Read more>>

Stephanie Dorn | Small Business Owner & Children’s Book Author

I was born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA in a close family of four (my mom, dad and older brother)… plus our dog, three cats, two parakeets, and our tortoise! After graduating from Huntington Beach High School in 1991, I attended UC San Diego, majoring in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish Literature. While in college, I spent my junior year studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. Read more>>

Ronald Duverge | visual artist & photographer

I am from Dominican Republic: One of the most important factors that shaped my trajectory as an artist is my cultural background. The amazing richness of such a beautiful racial mixture and the way I engage life disregarding circumstances of life in a country with such a political and economic conditions. I believe you have to choose what dreams you are going to pursue, because this will define your future! Read more>>