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.

Alexandria Park | Founding Principal

I am so grateful to my parents. My parents immigrated to this country from S. Korea when I was very young. They sacrificed a comfortable life in Korea which ultimately served as the catalyst to my academic career. They taught me the importance of hard work and taking advantage of all the opportunities presented to me. My company puts me one step closer to achieving the dreams that I have had since I was little. Read more>>

Lealem Mulugeta | Former NASA Scientist, Engineer-Scientist, Peak Performance Coach & Entrepreneur

I was born in Ethiopia, where I was often surrounded and inflicted by poverty and illness. But even under these conditions, I was consumed by visions of moving to North America where I imagined my family and I could enjoy the peace and live our dreams, and let me tell you, I had many dreams. I was filled with visions of exploring the cosmos. I wanted to become a gymnast. I also had all kinds of ideas of someday curing diseases like those I was surrounded by. There were many obvious reasons to believe achieving any one of them was impossible. Yet I was an idealist, and it got me into lots of trouble with family, friends and neighbors. No matter the opposition I faced, I just could not “grow out of it.” I suppose I still haven’t. Read more>>

Rosa Nunez | Realtor

I was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to New York City at only fourteen years old. Coming to the United States from a Spanish speaking country was very challenging. Although starting high school in a new country was difficult, I learned the English language and worked hard to graduate. This experience taught me that nothing is impossible, and that we as humans tend to put limitations on ourselves. I’m very thankful to have overcome this challenge as well as many others, for they helped me become who I am today. Not only do I adapt to change, but I welcome it. I’ve learned that change opens new doors and that we should not be stuck in a place we’d rather not be in. Read more>>

Helen Perry | Corporate and Personal Image Consultant

Houston. Born and raised. The greatest big little city on the map! When I was a child we lived about a mile from Battlestein’s on Shepherd. I would walk there and just spend time looking around at all the beautiful clothes and accessories. When my mom sent me to the convenience store for milk, if I had any change, I’d go nextdoor to Albert Miller Florist and buy a single flower. I just loved beauty and Houston had the stores to provide. My first job was at Hannah Niday Florist. I thought it would be just a wonderland of flowers and was surprised to find it required hours of hard work. Our neighborhood was a Norman Rockwell type of existence in the 50’s. Read more>>