There are so many factors that affect how our lives turn out, but one of the most interesting is how our backgrounds give us unique strengths and perspectives that affect who we are as adults. We asked rising stars from the community to tell us about their background and upbringing and how they feel it’s impacted who they are today.

Beatriz Perez Soto | Landscape Designed & Cheeseboard Artist

I am originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, but was raised in Southern California in the city of La Puente – about 25 minutes east of Los Angeles. I grew up in a hardworking predominantly Latino community- failure was never an option in my household. While growing up, my parents worked opposite schedules so one of them would always be home with my sister and I, my dad worked nights and mom worked early morning shifts. Which that left my dad to take my younger sister and I to school, he dressed us, did our hair- crooked hair parts and all but he did our hair. Read more>>

Laurence de Crisnay | Nutrition and Wellness coach

I worked for years in leadership positions in Fashion and Beauty corporations in France. Intense work, family life, and personal aspirations were often in a precarious balance as I was juggling to fit all obligations within the 24h of a day. Self-care was rarely making it to my to-do list. Moving the whole family 10000km away to follow my husband in his new position was another challenge, but it allowed me to reconsider my priorities. Combining my experiences, my very french love of food, and my desire to help women, I became certified as a Nutrition and Wellness Coach. Read more>>

FELICIA KELLY | Entrepreneur & Speaker

I’m originally from Port Arthur, Tx, which is located right on the gulf coast. I spent quite a bit of time there as well as Goldsboro, NC due to my parents serving in the military. My upbringing played a major role in who I am today because I had the opportunity to see how differently people lived in different parts of the world and socioeconomic classes. Those experiences allowed me to learn and understand different perspectives as well as taught me how to connect with others. Read more>>

George Bedrosian | Entrepreneur & Co-Founder of Pyro Pat’s

My partner Patrick and I both come from Armenian backgrounds, born and raised in Los Angeles. Both our families moved to the United States in hopes of finding opportunity, building a new foundation and to raise a family. Without their sacrifice, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Growing up, they instilled the same moral compass, and work ethic they used in order to navigate a foreign land 50 something years ago. Patrick and I both went to the same school, and spent a good portion of pre-school all the way through high school together. Going to the same private Armenian school together really gave us a sense of community, and built a strong bond between not only us, but our fellow classmates that we still keep in touch with till this day. We took those same values with us into our adult years and applied them to our current and future endeavors. Read more>>

Meena Kumar | Artist and Dessert Entrepreneur

I was born in New York City but also grew up in Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa before heading out to Los Angeles on my own. Vivid memories of events and people from each of these places flash in my mind all at once whenever anyone asks “Where are you from?” Each is a facet of who and where I call “home.” More formatively speaking however, I’m from my Korean mother who was raised in Seoul and my Indian father who grew up in Bangalore. I was immersed in our multi-cultural environment full of home cooked Korean and Indian meals and my mom’s deliciously innovative renditions of what was seen as “American food” at the time. Read more>>