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.

Jeff Sainlar | Photographer and Filmmaker

Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, I’ve always been curious about other people and their ways of life. As a photojournalist I have been able to use this curiosity as a way to meet people from all walks of life and be able to tell their story. I was always interested in photography and my sister was a journalist so I kind of followed her in the journalism world. I then attended Western Kentucky University, which was one of the best photojournalism schools in the nation. After a few classes, I was hooked. I became very interested in not just photography, but in storytelling, especially editorial style and that’s what has led me to more documentary filmmaking I do today. Read more>>

Dan Honore | Photographer

I grew up in a small town call ScotlandVille in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My grandmother used to have her own business when I was young, selling candy out of her home. Back in the south, selling candy out of your home was an old-school hustle the grandmothers used to do, and it used to be safe to do something like this, but I wouldn’t dare do it now, of course. I watched her take something as simple as making candy, to selling candy, and to renting arcade machines to support her self, and keeping this business running for over 20 years until she retired. Read more>>

Ashton Lee | Performing Artist, Studio Musician, Producer

I grew up in Huntington, WV. I come from a long line of musicians, and my parents were very supportive of my musical ambitions. I was fortunate in that way. My Dad taught me to sing at an early age, and my Mom bought me my first guitar. Family gatherings always included Bluegrass jams. Family vacations were spent at music festivals. I took lessons for many years from great teachers who encouraged me to get onstage at every opportunity. I’ve been performing in professional environments since I was 9, and there really is no substitute for that kind of experience. Read more>>

Natalie Grant | Visual Artist & Photographer

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. My earliest memory of art was when I was 8yrs old. I had many art supplies, coloring books, sketch pads, construction paper, markers, and coloring pencils. When I was about 10yrs old, my Mom let me paint the walls in my room; I was so excited. I grew up with a very accepting family. When I decided to pursue an art career in high school, they didn’t hold me back. Throughout college, they helped me in any way they could. Their support is what allowed me to keep going. Read more>>