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.

Christina Lockett | Prophetess, Author, Radio and Television Personality

I am a native of Houston and come from a lineage that emphasized the importance of loving yourself, your family and Christ. Having been raised in the church at a very early age and coming from a strong Christian background, has mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared me for life. I am very confident and proud of how my parents raised me. The values that my parents have inculcated in me has stayed with me in my adult life and has helped to shape and mold me into the person I am today. I credit my upbringing for giving me such a great sense of increased purpose in life and allowing me to have an understanding of the meaning of life. Because of my background and upbringing, I am the strong, vibrant, motivated achiever that you see today. Read more>>

Casondra Burkley, LCSW, M.Div | Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Pastor

I was born and raised in Houston, TX. I was raised in a single-parent home with my older sister. We experienced significant ups and downs including poverty and homelessness. I also experienced a childhood rape. Surviving these experiences and witnessing my mother overcome these obstacles truly inspired me to want to give back to others to encourage and empower them. As a result I am a licensed clinical social worker and ordained pastor. I have committed to using my education, gift, skills and talents in helping others to use their obstacles as stepping stones to greatness. Read more>>

Natalia Castillo | Founder of Fireyoup and Miss Texas Latina Director

Born and raised in the beautiful South American country of Colombia, Natalia prides herself in her Latin Heritage and cultural traditions. After moving to the United States at the tender age of 18, I received her B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Houston in 2012. My friends and colleagues call me a Colombian firecracker because of my bubbly personality and also for setting sparks in the Fitness and Pageant world as a 3X Ms. Bikini Universe Pro Champion, Model Champion America, Miss Houston Latina 2014, Miss Texas Latina 2015; now current Director of Miss Texas Latina Organization and last but not least Founder of Fireyoup Movement. I strongly believe having strong Latin background and parents who are excellent communication skills, has given me the opportunity to become a social connector and female motivator like no other!. Read more>>

Christie Schobel | Nail Technician

I grew up in La Porte, which is about 20-30 minutes outside of Houston. I’ve always been crafty and creative and there wasn’t a whole lot of opportunities to pursue an artistic career there. I remember going to get my nails done and asking for little things like a leopard print design or flowers on my nails, and most places simply could not do what I wanted. It got to where I was going to get my nails done and telling them not to paint them and I would go home and paint my own designs. People would ask where I got my nails done and when I would say I did them they would ask why I didn’t do nails. I moved to Houston and continued to do my nails as a hobby until one day I realized I didn’t want to be a waitress forever and there actually was a market for “cool” nails in the city. I ended up enrolling in a nail tech program and continued to wait tables while I was in school. Read more>>