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.

Lacy Jo | Singer/ Songwriter

I grew up in a ranching and farming family in Hudson, CO. Growing up in a small ag community you would naturally think I wanted to be a country singer but when I started pursing music I wasn’t sure what genre I wanted to sing. All I knew was I wanted to sing so I started exploring. But I eventually learned you can take the girl out of the country but you cant take the country out of the girl. Country music is where I fit, its home because its my roots. Read more>>

Cody Smith | Guitar and vocals/Nurse

This is Cody Smith from Then I Fly! I grew up in the small town of Bellville, Ohio, far from city life and a stone’s throw from Amish country. My friends and I spent our time skateboarding and re-enacting Jackass stunts to keep ourselves busy. My best friend, George, and I started learning to play guitar at a young age because we thought it would be cool to play in a rock band! We essentially taught ourselves how to play together. The beginnings of what would become Then I Fly stemmed from George and myself recruiting some kids in our class who played in marching band. Read more>>

Carl Glenn Payne | Independent Photojournalist

I grew up in Jacksonville, NC, near a Marine base that my dad was stationed at. Because of the military presence, it was the most diverse place I’ve ever lived. I followed in my father’s footsteps and joined the Marine Corps after finishing high school and served as a combat photographer. My role of documenting military operations impacted me by showing me how important visual documentation can be for sharing stories from war zones to telling stories in local communities. Read more>>

Kaydannielle Smith | Criminologist & Entrepreneur

My name is Kaydannielle Smith. I am a mother to a 10 year old boy and 3 year old daughter. I’m from New York City, but my family heritage is Jamaican. I moved to Colorado in March of 2014. I wanted a change of scenery and to provide a better life for my son. I had my son when I was 20 years old and because of him; I wanted to be a better me. I made a promise to myself that by the time he turned 5 years old we would be out of New York. We moved to Colorado when he was 3 years old. Being from New York City we are taught if you can make it in New York, you could make it anywhere and I believe that 100%. Read more>>

Christina Montoya | Owner & Cosmetologist

Hello, my Name is Christina Acosta-Montoya. I am a Latina from Denver Colorado, born and raised on Denvers West Side to Robert and Sally Acosta. My father was a part time pastor and he worked for the City and County of Denver. My mother was a stay-at-home mother to my sister and I. I feel like my background and upbringing impacted who I am today, by watching and learning from the examples I’ve had in my 45 years of life. The earliest memories I have are when my parents organized a Food and clothes bank at our church. As children we would organize the food and clothes. Read more>>

Lizzie McIntire | Independent Hairstylist

I’m from Fulton, Missouri. It’s a small rural town in the middle of the state. Fulton made me who I am. I’m just a small town girl with humble beginnings, and I always try to live in that mindset. I grew up with a single mom, and we worked very hard for everything we had. If anything else, that has always made me scrappy. In times where the money just isn’t there, I’ve been able to make a plan and get through to the other side. While doing what I love what I do and my clients mean the world to me, my upbringing also taught me that your career isn’t everything. What your work and income allows you to do outside of work is what makes life sweet. Read more>>

Gary Glasser | Photographic archiver of anarchy and societies forbidden fruits

I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up there during the 70’s and was exposed to a lot of interesting and enlightening sights and sounds. From Green Peace, Noe Valley Street Fair’s, the SF “hippie: cultural, the growing voice of LGBQT and gallery shows from Varga, Jim Dine and Robert Mapplethorpe. Somewhere during this time I began to “see” more, that my internal vision was seeing art no matter where I looked. My mind kept framing everything as a photograph. In my teens I was drawn to work by Civil War photographer Mathew Brady, but not just for his documentation of the war but the black and white photographs themselves. That aesthetic spoke to me. Of course I was inspired and enlightened to the works of Ansel Adam’s as well. In the 90’s I decided to take some college photography courses. During this time one of my photography professors was Geir Jordahl whose infrared work to this day still keeps me inspired. Read more>>