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.

Elizabeth Haberer | Psychotherapist and Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher

I was born in Brazil and grew up in Mexico City. I moved to Houston from Mexico after my High School graduation. My background has not only shaped the cultural lens through which I view the world, but it has also allowed me to become exquisitely attuned to working with people who feel like they outsiders because of their circumstances. As a first-generation immigrant, I can relate to the multiplicity of selves we can contain and see how hard people work to acculturate to the dominant culture by hiding their pain, shame, identity or history.. We all have a deep longing to connect and belong. Read more>>

Anna Moloney | Visual Artist & Creative Therapy Teacher

I am from County Meath in Ireland, which is a 1 hour drive North West of Dublin. I grew up in the countryside but I have been living in Dublin for the last couple of years. I love being outside in nature and I crave the stillness of the countryside whenever I am in the city. I visit my Mam in Meath often and we explore the surrounding countryside together. Like many others, the Covid-19 pandemic provided me with the opportunity to reconnect with where I grew up. Isolation from others brought me closer to nature and to my immediate natural landscape, the local bog-land. I have become fascinated by its transformative nature, and with the history and secrets that it holds. I find a lot of inspiration for my art here. Read more>>

Lauren Mitchell | Dessert Designer & Engineer

I’m from Ohio, but some of my fondest memories are of visiting my grandmother in Virginia. My Grandma Lula, my dad’s mother, was a round lady standing 4’11” who baked everything from scratch. She woke up at sunrise to make homemade pancakes, fresh rolls, cakes, and cookies. One time she made a boxed cake and I immediately knew something was off. She thought she was making me a special treat but from that moment on I asked her to always make her homemade treats. Her baked goods made with real butter and premium ingredients could never be substituted. I loved her baked goods and wanted to learn how to make them but Grandma never measured anything. I spent every holiday with her in the kitchen learning her recipes and writing them down. Once my grandmother introduced me to baking, I started baking for friends and family at home to show my love and appreciation much like my grandmother did. It’s an honor to get to share a little bit of Lula with everyone that tastes my treats. Read more>>

Lucero Valle Archuleta | Photographer and Designer

I’m from a small industrial town in northern Mexico called Monclova Coahuila. During my childhood I watched my dad and mom grow a successful business from cero, he had no education and all the odds against him. Before he was a photographer he was a bullfighter but during that time he had a bus accident where he broke his two legs, was in a wheelchair for two years, and finally recover and go back to become a matador (higher rank on bullfighting ). But of course, his legs weren’t responding, he had several injuries until he decided to leave it, start a photography business, and mary my mom. I had the best example of overcoming obstacles and just don’t be afraid of your present moment if you don’t like what you see you can dream about it, had the vision for it, and change it. I had the privilege to have an education and a degree on Industrial Design and Product Development while I was building my skills in photography. When I move to the states I wasn’t expecting to stay, I came here to practice my English and help a friend with her wedding. Read more>>

Elton Salazar | Singer/Songwriter

I was born in Monterrey, Mexico and moved to Houston, Texas when I was 8 years old. Being only 6 hours away from the border gave me the opportunity to experience both cultures and relate to them fairly easily. Growing up I had the opportunity to learn about our Hispanic culture and listen to various genres of Spanish music, which broadened my horizons; I was able to expand my taste, understanding and appreciation for music from around the world. I enjoy music in other languages and am constantly looking for new music to add to my listening library. Read more>>