Through our work we have had the good fortune of seeing firsthand how success comes in every shape, size, color, faith, and orientation. More importantly we’ve learned that success is often the result of people embracing their unique backgrounds and so we’ve asked the community to tell us about their background and how it has impacted where they are today.

Gantry Hill | Writer/Director

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Most of my childhood was spent skateboarding. My brother and I would film each other learning new tricks until we eventually got sponsored and started traveling together. So many of the important lessons I’ve learned in life have come from skating. It taught me individuality, and ingenuity and open-mindedness; all of which are a big part of who I am as a filmmaker and a person. Read more>>


I am a 42 year old, Bronx born and bred Nuyorican. I currently reside in the northern most neighborhood in the Boogie Down, with my beautiful pregnant wife, toddler and our mini schnauzer. The Bronx hasn’t always received the respect it deserves. The borough has impacted my life in many ways. Being from here has made me resilient. It has made me strong and street smart. It’s made me love and respect. The Bronx has taught me that loving is okay and respect is what everyone craves. Read more>>

Fernando Bojorquez | Filmmaker

Im from Mexico and moved to California five years ago. Back in Mexico filmmaking was not a realistic choice when it came to a career path but I have always had a passion for story telling. Now that I’m here I want to take full advantage of connections and tools that I have obtain for the past years. I will always carry Mexico in my heart and hopefully I will be able to come back and tell all creative people that there might be a lot of obstacles in their way but if you really have a passion for what you do, nothing is really impossible. Read more>>

Cai O’Leary | Director & Screenwriter

I am from Wales and have always been surrounded by nature. I spent a lot of my youth hiking in the mountains and windsurfing on the local lakes with my father. I like to bring this slower pace and natural feel to my movies. I also own a company with my wife, separate from the Film world, which is designed around bringing people together and reaching far away from the stresses of day to day modern life. Back to how I once knew it, if you will. Read more>>

Haila Alkhamis | Portrait Photographer

I was born and raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A country with a rich culture filled with fascinating traditions, a poetic language, magnificent islamic architecture, and a variety of culture influenced art forms. I grew up among authentic, generous, affectionate people, in specific among brilliant strong resilient Saudi women. Read more>>

Ali Palmer | Small business owner & illustrator

I grew up in a very small town in upstate NY. Both my parents were teachers and they didn’t have an income that would allow for electronics or excessive amounts of toys. Mostly what my sisters and I did was play in the woods and our imaginations were what made everything entertaining. I remember one ‘toy’ I had was a block of wood that my dad had lying around in his workshop that I named Harry and would scratch designs into his ‘hair’. My dad is an artist. Read more>>

Tyler Lee Cushing | Cinematographer and DJ

I’m from a small town in Northern California called Sutter Creek that is halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. It’s a beautiful town that has wonderful sweeping vistas and a vibrant history. The land, as well as my friends and family, shaped who I am today. One of my grandfather’s was a photographer and painter who I really looked up to as an artist. Read more>>

Knowpa Slaps | DJ. Party Thrower. Remixer

I was born in El Salvador and came to the US when I was 6. I lived in Southern California and moved to SF when I was 18. Read more>>

Aya Mac | Photographer

I come from a multi-racial, multi-cultural background. My mother is from Fukuoka in southern Japan, whilst my father was born in Sydney, Australia and is of mostly German and Irish roots. Although I grew up in Brisbane, Australia, I was born in Kyoto and spent most summers with my grandparents in Japan. Read more>> 

Rachel Rotabi | Functional Health Strategist

I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area. My mom was outdoor science teacher, and I spent my childhood hiking in the Santa Cruz mountains, looking for salamanders, owls, and banana slugs. This led to my love of both nature and science. In my early career, I used my mechanical engineering degree to help build medical devices to help people, and today, I use that love of science to help rebalance my client’s health. To this day, being in the mountains or exploring tide pools puts my spirit at peace. I try to do it often! Read more>>

Eriko Kobayashi | Glass artist

I currently live in the United States but grew up in Tokyo, Japan. Growing up in the city, I was surrounded by great opportunities, many attractions and plenty of activities that would fulfill anyone’s desires, but despite the fact that I grew up in a wonderful environment, my heart remained unfulfilled. My insatiable need for fulfillment is what keeps me going as a glass artist today. Read more>>