Where you grew up and your background can often have surprising effects on our lives and careers. We’ve asked folks from the community to tell us about how their background has affected them.

Jenni Hilker | Certified Life Coach

I am from northwest Indiana and I grew up with six siblings, five of which are older, ranging from 1 to 13 years older! They gave me the greatest gift I could possibly ask for; the gift of watching them live. One married young and built a beautiful family, one got his MBA and climbed the corporate ladder, one lived abroad for multiple years, one quit college to follow his career and then went back later because graduating was important to him, and one built his career ensuring it allows for a healthy work/life balance so he can escape to nature stress-free! Read more>>

Awo Prosatega | Artis & ilustrator

I am from Bandung’s suburbs, exactly in Majalaya village. Both name are in very suck system of nation, social gap, corruption, and the obvious authoritarian rules. That country named Indonesia. My education is only high school, standar performance in lesson value, never had a chance to go to college, because i never wanted to.. Read more>>

Michel Polania Sanchez | Entrepreneur & Bartender

I was born on May 18, 1995 in Medellin, Colombia. I only lived there for the first three years of my life before my family and I settled in Charlottesville, VA. A small college town located east of The Blue Ridge Mountains and home to the University of Virginia. I grew up more than fortunate with two hard working and loving parents within a tranquil environment. My father spent majority of his time working and doing his part to provide for us what I considered a normal American middle class lifestyle. Read more>>

Deva Yoder | Singer songwriter

I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. When I moved to Denver at 18, I was so ready to move on, but these days I get nostalgic for it. I have two teenagers, and I wish so much that they could have experienced a small community of friends the way I did. I’ve been reconnecting with old friends recently and I feel that it gets me in touch with my roots. There is a deep acceptance that you find when it comes with having old friends that know you and still forgive you. Read more>>

Miguel | Photographer

I am an Air Force brat/grew up in a military household. My dad was in the Air Force and we moved around a lot. 5 different states in the U.S. and 3 years as a teenager in Europe. I have always been an introvert but attending 3 different junior high schools and 2 different high schools helped me become more social/a situational extrovert. I was blessed to be able to build friendships with people from all over the world. This taught me open mindedness. Read more>>

Gillian Cheek | Entrepreneur & Business Owner

I am born and raised right here in Colorado. But my upbringing was one that forced me to grow up fast. My parents divorced when I was a preteen, and being the youngest of 3 kids my mom used me as a pawn. My mom remarried and became so focused on her new husband it felt like she forgot about the child she still had at home to raise. She forced met to stop talking to my dad at 13 years old, she also forced me to get a tattoo at age 12 and legally change my name at age 18. Read more>>

Desiree Gallegos | Nail artist

I am from Denver Colorado. Born and raised. I am a daughter to two supportive parents, one older sister, and a younger brother. Growing up my parents made it a point to show me that hard work will pay off. I seen them both work multiple jobs to make an honest living. Both my parents were janitors so they had to work hard for the things we had. They would always remind me that no matter what I was doing to give 100% even if it was cleaning floors. Read more>>

Cameron Sprenger | Founder of Growth Marketing Media

I am from Fort Collins, Colorado. From a very young age, (13) I struggled with drug addiction. This quickly spiraled out of control. At the age of 15 I actually overdosed for the first time on fentanyl and alcohol. This was the first of 10 different hospitalized overdoses that occurred. During the younger stage of my life I became a door to door salesperson. (age 14) I have knocked on over a hundred thousand doors. This taught me how to never give up no matter what. Perseverance is one of my core values. Read more>>