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.

Todd Roberts | President

I’ll never forget. . .There’s a notable superyacht owner who once told me in confidence, “I’m old. I have more money than time. Get it done.” Owners just like him come to Marine Group Boat Works for our ability to service their yachts, and work on them with impeccable speed and craftsmanship, so they can go back to connecting with the water, spending quality time with loved ones and creating long-lasting memories. Yet, people have misconceptions about¬¬ the industry we are in, and often imagine a dreary, industrious shipyard. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We specialize in refitting the ultra-high net worth’s floating assets—superyachts, megayachts, tenders and toys. Not only are the wealthy drawn to San Diego; their money cruises in with them, benefitting the economy and all local businesses. Read more>>

Brian Hook | Stage Hypnotist

That it is work booking shows. Money is spent to advertise and get phone to ring. Then when calls do come, the person just wants a price. Many other hypnotist will undercut the price, just to get the gigs. Some people think the hypnotist just puts a spell over people and they magically get shows booked. A lot more goes into it. Read more>>

Omri Schein | Actor, Lyricist & Playwright

Most people who don’t know me personally, just naturally assume that I’m originally from New York. And although I did move to San Diego from New York City six years ago, and spent my high school and undergrad years in New York as well as 9 years after I completed graduate school, I’m actually an immigrant to the United States. I was born in Switzerland to an Israeli (originally Polish born) father and a Swiss mother. I spent my early childhood years in Johannesburg South Africa, my early teens in Israel and moved to exotic Milwaukee, Wisconsin before my fifteenth year. We eventually settled on Staten Island, and you already know the rest. The constant moving forced me into early maturity, as well as experiencing Apartheid South Africa and the first gulf war in Israel. I have been exposed to a plethora of cultures, languages, religions over the years which have shaped my views of the world and where I insignificantly fit in. Read more>>

Vincent Knakal | Professional Photographer

The idea of being a profession photographer seems pretty glamorous to most people. You show up with your crew, a camera and some lights and get paid good money to take photos of beautiful women, food, high-end vehicles or whatever it might be, in some exotic locations. The reality is that it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and money) to get to that point in your career and there is ton of legwork involved in getting the best shots possible once you are there. A lot of thought and work needs to be put in, even before the shoot begins. Time goes into meeting with clients and careful estimation of these projects. Of course, first of all, you need to “land” the job. Typically you may need to hire crew, cast talent, acquire props and wardrobe, rent equipment and scout locations. You are not only budgeting costs, but time as well. Read more>>

Ari Novy | Plant Scientist & Educator

I was born in Michigan, but grew up in New Jersey. I lived with my grandparents, who were florists, until I was 9. My grandfather and I grew a vegetable garden every year and I helped in the flower shop. When I was 22, I started volunteering at a garden in my spare time and it instantly clicked. I didn’t realize that I could have a career doing the very activities I’d most enjoyed as a child. Fast forward another 20 years and I have a PhD in Plant Biology and run the San Diego Botanic Garden. Read more>>

Eric Addison | Filmmaker

I grew up in La Mesa, a suburb of San Diego county, raised by a single mom. Like many Gen=Xers, I spent a lot of time by myself as my mom worked to support our family. From that, I think my sense of responsibility formed as I had to help take care of my younger brother. But I also spent a lot of time watching movies, reading books, as well as writing. Storytelling was something I found myself drawn to, and it was something I could escape into when life at home got hard. When I started college, wanting to be a writer, I was set on being an English major. But after getting the opportunity to spend a day on a film set, I discovered where my heart and passion really lay, and that was behind a camera. I switched majors to film production, and I was on my way. Read more>>

Ruby Roof | Arbonne Independent Consultant & Photographer

My pillars of strength come from grit, grace, and gratitude. I was born in St. Louis, Mo, in the heart of the 60’s. Brought into this world by teen parents, I was a shy, timid flower child with humble beginnings. I got to San Diego as fast as I could, as a youngster, and have loved San Diego ever since. My parents’ struggles polarized my drive to be self-reliant, harness every challenge towards faith, and eventually pursue college. I became tenacious, as I absorbed the best parts of them, and forged a different path in life. I decided from a young age to go after my dreams, no matter how impossible they seemed. A bumpy upbringing pushed me to chart my own course, I became independent and a risk taker, doing whatever it took to move forward. I picked up a camera at 13 and began a life-long love of photography. Read more>>

Leah Blankenship | Executive Director

A lot of times people see us as a organization that works with a single type of person. As if you can put every homeless person in a niche category and that is what “homeless” is. But that is not the case at all, we work with a very diverse population. There are people that we serve from all different types of backgrounds, whether born in San Diego or not. Some have been born into homeless while others found themselves living that life due to unforeseen circumstances. It can really be anyone that will walk through our doors and it makes it for a very culturally enriching experience. Read more>>