We asked some of the most inspiring folks in the community to tell us where they want to be professionally by the end of their careers.

April Yanko | Actor, Writer, Cat Lady

I think what’s funny though is asking about the “end of my career.” I’m sort of hearing it as “when you’re dead, what do you hope you’ve done?” My “nearest” dream is writing for Robot Chicken. If I was able to accomplish that and then –end of career- I think I would be happy to know that I’ve entertained people with a show that has entertained me so many times. But if I could accomplish all of my goals? I would want to create a studio mainly known for its 2D animated films. I love the nostalgic feeling of that style of animation, and with having a company, I would be able to help elevate voices to tell stories people didn’t know they needed to hear. I would also love to create the kind of work environment that makes people proud to say where they’re employed. Read more>>

Karthik Mohan Vijaymohan | Karthik Mohan | Sound Designer and Recordist

I am just beginning my career as a Sound Designer. I am currently at that stage where I just want to learn as much as I can. Everyone around me has so much to offer and the best thing I can do is soak it all up like a sponge. I want to focus on Sound Editing and I aspire to become a Supervising Sound Editor in Film and TV. That is how I see myself in the future. I want to work on interesting projects that challenge my creative capabilities. These necessarily need not be big budget productions or have big names associated with them. I am more interested in collaborating with a good team and building strong professional relationships. Just like my role model Skip Lievsay, I want to constantly push boundaries and never settle for standard. I am not in this field because I want to be in the limelight or become famous. I am here because I love sound. Read more>>

Barbara Poynter | Author & Entrepreneur

My end goal is simple, it’s to retire comfortably with my husband while impacting so many lives that only God knows the final count of the impact. By the end of my career, I would love to have made it to the New York Times Best Sellers list. My writing style is inspirational, I aim to help inspire and uplift others who may find themselves stuck in a moment, time, or situation in their lives. I remind them that there is a higher power and calling on their lives that will not be defined by this unfortunate moment or time they may find themselves in. My goal is to also have a foundation that serves the underprivileged living in underserved and underdeveloped communities. My goal is that my foundation comes alongside those individuals to serve and help pull them up out of the rough times they may find themselves in. I aim to lift them up and provide them with the necessary tools they will need to stay afloat. Read more>>

Kameron Hollis | Founder & Music Director for Urban Music Society

I believe that music is always evolving and finding new ways to be created and distributed to the masses. So I wouldn’t necessarily call my highest success dream an end goal. My ultimate desire is to establish something that goes beyond me and my own vision. I hope that it is a never ending tree that keeps growing new roots to sustain my children and many generations after me. By the end of my career, I want my brand to be something that exudes trust and quality. Yes I want it to be successful and recognizable, but more importantly, reliable. I want artists, producers, event planners, churches, Hollywood, etc to know that if Urban Music Society has their hand in it, you won’t be disappointed. Whether we are playing for your cocktail party, doing live sessions for your album, backing you up on stage on tour, or giving lessons to aspiring musicians, I want excellence in all aspects of my business and brand. Read more>>

Alyssa Romano | Professional Makeup Artist

My end goal is to start my own beauty brand. Not that I’m following in the footsteps of anyone in particular, but a lot of well known makeup artist’s have gone on to start their own beauty brand. I think it’s important to look at your end goal and research others that have done it before you. With anything in life, you have to ask yourself where want to go, and then figure out how you’ll get to where you want to be. Honestly, starting a beauty brand came to me before I considered doing makeup professionally. The thought of doing makeup professionally sounded like a dream, and since it aligned with my end goal of starting my own beauty brand someday, so I just went with it. Read more>>

Ziggy Stry | Musician/Music Producer

When I think of goals and success in my career, of course accolades are important. But further than that, when it comes down to it I hope that I can make an impact larger than music. I want to be able to help grow and give back to my community and the city of Portland where I’m from. I hope to help shed light on the city through providing resources, exposure, and continually contributing to the community and wellbeing of my hometown. Furthermore, I want to continue to push the boundaries of my own music and interests, and create meaningful work that inspires others. In the end, a goal of mine is to feel fulfilled both professionally, and personally with the work that I’m able to share, and how I’m able to impact and empower others. Read more>>

Lauren Aardema Borrego | Birth and Postpartum Doula, Vaginal Steam Facilitator

I’m not sure that there is necessarily an “end goal” with my line of work; the work is never-ending and constantly changing as a Doula. I have personally found that birthwork itself and my role as a Doula is shifting into providing various forms of support to each family. My skills are expanding into other areas of wellness and family support. I hope to eventually lead retreats and gatherings for expectant families and incorporate a variety of services that can support individuals across a spectrum of well-being. I recently moved to a home near Topanga Canyon and I envision hosting small-scale workshops and retreats that would include sound bath meditation, yoga, hiking, and a sense of community. Another crucial element that I would like to incorporate into my work is trauma-informed services and grief support during pregnancy and postpartum. After the passing of my father in January 2021. Read more>>

Keta Meggett | Self Defense Coach, Fighter, Actor & Pro-Wrestler

The end goal for me or where I would like to professionally see my career in the end… Would be for me to see Team Bully Buster as an international conglomerate, with millions of women and children gaining confidence through self love and self-defense! I started the company because I noticed that there was a deficit in places for women and children to learn how to protect themselves in a safe clean and fun environment. After being bullied and beat up severely in High School and suffering from PTSD for years, I wanted to change how I felt so I chose to empower myself one step at a time. I started with my spirituality & built A your relationship with God. Then I got mental help and started to go to therapy and then I added in overcoming being physical by auditioning to be a Pro-Wrestler on the TV show WOW Superheroes and I booked it! Becoming the character Keta’s Rush was so empowering and also opened a lot of doors for me. Read more>>

Dr. Whitney Griffin | Psychology Professor & Yoga Instructor for Traumatic Brain Injuries

When I’m retired and sipping tea from my breakfast nook at my lakeside cabin in Colorado, I won’t really be retired. (As if I could.) I’ll always be learning and teaching at, I mean uh, teaching to anyone who will listen. My training as both a learning scientist and a yoga teacher allow me to research, teach, and share wisdom across formal and informal learning environments. Wherever I can find nature, I can design a learning space (hence, Colorado). The vision that brings me joy and fulfillment as a researcher-practitioner is one where I have designed sustainable school systems of inclusive environments for sciences and arts for all learners of all ages. I had the pleasure of going to graduate school (for educational psychology) in Seattle, Washington (go Dawgs). It was inspiring to see radical ways of thinking by people who engineered aspects of the city to be interdependent with the natural environment. My end goal as an educator/advocate is to participate in a sustainable future for the wellness of human beings for many generations to come. Read more>>

Juelz Velasquez | Comedy Story Teller/ Writer/Actor/Hustler

By the end of my career I would like to be on my island growing different things. But having this knowing that my friends and family were taken care of. I was able to provide services for the homeless, veterans, and kids from back home (the bronx). On this Island is where I would write my biography and short stories that I will publish. Read more>>