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.

Marianna Lucero | Maestra & Founder & Executive Director of In Lak’ech Denver Arts

I am a Xicana born and raised in Southwest Denver. I am also a teacher for Denver Public Schools, a teatrista, first-generation college student, and now, the Founder and Executive Director of In Lak’ech Denver Arts. My mother, Rosa, is a fierce Mexicana and a master story-teller, who continues to use her gift of cuento to bridge my present to my past. Lively stories nestle me in the arms of a mother Tierra that I never knew. Her words delicately paint the montañas of Canatlán, the crystal olas off the coast of Veracruz, and vivid dance parties fueled by my abuelos special ponche. I collect her cuentos like lunares on my skin, each freckle, a story, a song of familia, comida, and musica. I know who I am because of her. I have the honor of growing up right off of Evans and South Federal Blvd, in a community so special, that I would never dream of leaving it. We come from cumbias, taquerias, back-yard parties and familia first. We come from first-generation graduations, cruising slow on Sunday nights, and girls who wear big hoops and have even bigger dreams. Read more>>

Bentley Porterfield-Finn | Doula & Lactation Educator

I am originally from Edwards Colorado, in Eagle county. My background and upbringing has played a huge role in shaping the woman I am today. I am biracial–born to a Black mother and White father. Growing up as a woman of color in a small, predominately-White, resort town, I really struggled to feel like I fit in. I always felt different but never really understood why. I also struggled to find role models who looked like me. From a young age, this fostered a sense of curiosity in my. A curiosity about identity, culture, traditions, and belonging. It also inspired my work ethic–I like to show people what I am capable of. I carry this curiosity and drive with me today in all that I do. I strive to see the full picture of things and to connect with people of all backgrounds. Read more>>

Laura Funk | Owner & Digital Content Creator | We Got the Funk

I am a native Coloradoan. I was born and raised in Brighton where we still reside, I grew up in a super unconventional setting. My parents owned and operated the local roller skating rink where we also lived (yes in a house, attached to the rink), and I was raised working and understanding how business works from about the age of 9. From then, I worked my tail off both in our business and in school. Instead of falling into the roll of rink owner myself, I decided to pursue a college degree. I wanted a life outside of the rink and I truly love learning. I graduated college with an AS, BS in biology and a minor in linguistic studies. I also worked on my teaching credentials and I currently teach high school science. I have always been a worker bee, but I have also always loved to share stories and I think part of that is why I enjoy teaching and writing on our website. I am able to tell stories and through personal experience change lives and teach both online and in a classroom. I am right where I am supposed to be. Read more>>

Shane Rogers | Artist & Tattooer

I’m from Tampa Florida. I’d say my grandmother would be the first person to influence me to want to be into art and drawing. She was around a lot my whole life since my parents had to work a lot to support us kids and she would give me the comics section from the newspaper every morning when we would sit at the table. She and I would try to mimic the comic characters on napkins. So from then on I’d say I was always drawing things and she’d see that so she always encouraged me to pursue it and be an artist. I would see tattoos on people around town sometimes and would see them in magazines at the grocery store when I’d go with my parents. Later on when I got older I started drawing a lot again like I did when I was a kid and tattoos were always so cool to me and in my mind when I was drawing so I started trying to get into it and found someone who would teach me. Tattooing really taught me a lot of things and really got me back into making artworks. Read more>>

Destiny DeHaven | Pattern Breaker and Bullshit Detector (If Need Be Please Feel Free to Change to BS Detector to Publish)

I was born and raised in Honolulu, HI. I come from a fairly large family. I was that kid that called out the adults and the lies being told. Looking back I can see how that might be annoying; however, it really set me up for success as a adult. I have an ability to know when something is a lie or a stretched truth. I began to utilize this skill in my coaching. I learned that I had limiting beliefs and they are essentially lies I told myself when I was younger and they no longer serve me. At one point in my life they did, but not anymore. Now, most mindset-type of coaches will automatically want you to get rid of the limiting belief. Instead I want us to know how to manage ALL of our beliefs. Growing up, I was also taught to see many different sides of an issue and come to the quickest, most efficient solution. Getting rid of a limiting belief causes our brain to simply replace that belief with another and it feels like a struggle or a never ending battle. But, if we befriend our belief…BOOM!! We can make such a difference in our own lives and the world. Read more>>

Amanda Wolf | Muralist & Creative Marketer

For me, becoming an artist had everything to do with my coming of age. It’s a lifestyle I grew into while moving through intense change in my late teenage years. I’ve come to understand that most people choose to become artists because it gives you a way to have absolute control over your own reality, if only for a moment. When things outside of me seemed out of my reach, I was always able to use art as a tool to empower myself to create something different. As I went through the typical hurdles and shifts of growing into a young adult – drawing and sketching became my way of integrating new experiences, and adapting to change. Things really took off for me when I moved from my hometown (Austin Texas) to Boulder, Colorado for school. Fast forward through my collegiant years ripe with adventure, naivety and wonder.  Simultaneously, I earned a Marketing degree and learned to balance my creative self with a more analytical, business minded perspective of life. As I matured and began to consider career, I began to connect the dots between business and art. I came to understand that owning a business can, in and of itself, be a creative endeavor. Read more>>

Otisa Eads | HR & Systems Strategist

I am from Kentucky originally. I grew-up in a small town and rural area, called Westport. I loved living in a small town and my family enjoyed living there as well. My parents were hardworking and always instilled in me at a young age to always have a good work-ethic no matter the “job”. My mother would tell me things, like “Stay a child as long as you can” and “Learn all you can learn” everyday before she would drop me off at school. I was able to see the impact the community had when they would rally together for any reason/cause and how the small businesses relied on the community for support. I was able to work for small business owners growing-up and seeing first-hand how important the role of the community had played for them. Now, I am a small business owner/entrepreneur and I am beginning to see how important it is to be involved in my community. Not just for the growth of my business, but because I care about the impact my business can make within in the community and vice versa. I have a strong work ethic and care about my clients as if each of them were my only client. I always infuse fun, open-mindedness, and heart-centeredness in the mission of my business. I am obsessed with learning new things and that has only propelled me further not only in business, but in life. Read more>>

James Brunt | Actor, Immersive Deviser, Poet, Educator, Director

It started with words and what people would say to one another. I was the quiet kid that just listened to everything around me. I grew up in Denver, Colorado, in the Montbello/Green Valley Ranch area. I was bullied a lot in school. Everyday I would blast music through my headphones on the bus so I wouldn’t have to hear anyone. Music and poetry helped me get through my day because I truly never knew what was going to happen. There weren’t a lot of artistic influences around where I grew up. The art I grew to love wasn’t seen as a career path. Sports were very big, but art was frowned upon unless the end goal was making tons of money. If it weren’t for my parents’ love of books, movies, and writing, I wouldn’t have had much exposure to what I love to do now. I wanted to be an actor ever since the third grade. My Dad would give me movies on VHS to watch while he was working. We would talk about them when he got home. My Mom loved sci-fi movies and she gave me the Star Wars Trilogy to watch. While I watched, I remember thinking that I didn’t just want to watch Darth Vader anymore, I wanted to be Darth Vader. Read more>>

Kerry Temple-Wood | Yoga Educator and Studio Owner

I am the canadian kid who snuggled into the earth, grass and climbed any tree she could; listened to spirit in the wind, moon and and stars. When I was 14, my mom took me to a Yoga class at the local rec center. That evening my life changed forever. I met this young girl on the mat who was ok, and not full of teenage craziness! Nothing wrong with her. Just me, my body, breath and being ~ moving. No drama. No competition. Yoga has been the lampost lighting my path ever since. Motherhood Yoga was something else! Where the heck did my ‘mat’ go?? It was nursing practice, diaper changing practice, meditation in the moment. There was no cave to retreat to. My Yoga was also this. Slowly I’ve learned the lessons of listening (and NOT listening!), and the wisdom of life’s lessons., and now meet myself as a seasoned traveler on the road of life. Always a student, I treasure sharing and teaching from the messy brilliance of experience and imperfect action. As an ‘older’ woman, I claim the wisdom of my life, and plan to be sharing and practicing for a long while yet. Yoga is a wellness practice informing body, mind and spirit~ for a lifetime. Maybe you find yourself challenged by life’s chaos and lessons, or are struggling with midlife shifts, and there is NO Road Map! Maybe you’ve lost touch with parts of who you know you are, and are wondering how to find that being again? Yoga has been my road map. Read more>>

Jordan J River Simpkins | Minister, Musician, Christian Hip Hop Artist, Sound Engineer

I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and then moved to Canton, Ohio with my parents at a young age. There, I was surrounded by my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Being around my family on a daily basis really molded me into the person I am today. It taught me how to love those around me. My parents made sure to keep me rooted in church and until this day I am a “Church Boy”. Being in the church I learned the tools of my trade that I still use today. Read more>>