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.

hikari miller | Dancer/Personal Trainer/Model

I am originally from Teaneck, New Jersey. I left Teaneck when I was 11 years old, but I know the influence of Teaneck ​​serendipitously influenced the dancer I grew into being as far as my values, taste in music, and fashion. Teaneck is a diverse town, predominantly half Jewish and half African American 20 min outside of NY. I grew up being exposed to a lot of different cultures. My mother is from Okinawa and her way of nurture had a huge impact on having a dual career in dance and personal training. Okinawans are very healthy, happy, and warm hearted people. She was always reading books on nutrition and healthy living. She started educating me on health at a very young age. Read more>>

Rejeanne Bennett | Stylist, Creative, Model, Go getter!

I love this question because it’s an open ended answer for me. I was born in Jamaica, moved to US (Massachusetts) when I was 10 yrs old. I then moved to NYC for college at 18 before coming out to LA in 2018. I am a Jamaican east coast girl. My upbringing has taught me that nothing comes easy and everything takes hard work. We started with not much from being in Jamaica to coming to the US and making small apartments work until we could afford a house. Using what we had and making it work even when it came to food. Read more>>

Odalys Jasmine Garcia Arce | Hella Latin@ Podcast Host & Event Project Manager at LinkedIn

I’m from Southeast San Diego. A place overlooked and underserved. A hub of Latino, Black, and immigrant communities. My family? We were one of the few Hondurans on the block. I lived in condo filled with punta, salsa, baleadas, semitas, café catracho y oraciones a nuestro padre que está en los cielos. I’m a first-generation Hondureña and where I’m from has everything to do with who I am and how I maneuver the world. There are things about me that show where I’m from. Like my hoops, my red lipstick, my Spanglish. But my grit, hustle, love for community, those are the things that make me who I am. Read more>>

Angelo Ponzi | Chief Marketing Officer

Have you ever wondered how you became an entrepreneur? What drove you to start your first business? It’s an interesting question. I remember my dad–a large man with an even bigger personality and hands the size of a baseball glove, and who often broke out into spontaneous song– sitting on the plastic-covered couch in the family room of our little house. Read more>>