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.

Danielle Johnson | Permanent Makeup Artist

I’m from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I grew up in a single parent household with my mom, sister, and two brothers. Being that my mom was a single mama, she had to work a lot. Although I hated that as a kid because I wanted my mom to be home more, it impacted me today by instilling the value of hardwork in me. I’m very hard-working, industrious, and disciplined because of my upbringing. Read more>>

Madie Farmer | Choreographer, Teacher & Freelance Dance Artist

I’m originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I trained extensively in classical ballet. I took one dance class at 3 years old and never stopped. I fell in love with it. My journey with dance led me from downtown Pittsburgh, to Jackson, Mississippi, and now to Houston, Texas. I’ve had many ups and downs throughout my dance life, including leaving the ballet world for modern/contemporary dance, but it has all helped me discover and befriend who I am as an artist. Read more>>

Deborah Douglas | Stress Elimination Specialist

I am a native Houstonian. As a child and into my late teens, I was a dancer. Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Arcrobats. After graduating high school and moving away from home I was introduced to karate and yoga. I have grown up around movement and movement is a major way to stay healthy. I always knew how important movement and exercise was and know this is what has brought me to where I am today. 6th degree Black Belt holding the title of Renshi, A Reiki Master, Certified Aromatherapist, Tai Chi & Yoga Instructor. At present I am the owner of LifeArts, The Energy Movement Studio and known as a Stress Elimination Specialist as all the services and classes offered help with stress reduction and relaxation. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing. Aromatherapy is the blending of essential oils to support the body’s natural healing process. Read more>>

Hanifa H Staine | Author & Lifestyle Balance Coach

I am originally from Belize, a tiny country located in Central America just below Mexico. Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America because we are a commonwealth to England. The queen of England face is actually on our dollar and coins. But to answer your question in reference to my background and upbringing I would have to say that it definitely shape who I am today. I am the oldest of two girls and I grew up in the church with very strict grandparents. My mom, unfortunately passed away during child birth when I was only two years old so I never really knew my mom. As mentioned I was raised in the church and as such I had very high expectation placed on me not only from a character stand point but also from an achievement, goal oriented stand point. Education, good character and spirituality was a first priority in everything I do. Read more>>