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.

Melissa Rojas | Owner & influencer of Chasing Camilla

I was born in Michigan. Born into a Migrant family. We traveled every year back to Texas. So I’ve always felt a sense of connection to both states Michigan and Texas. My background impacted who I am today tremendously. Since I can remember my parents instilled in me to further my education and not have the same life they had. I was raised with really hard working parents. But also business savvy. Both my parents always hustled. I picked blueberries at a very young age. And at the age of fourteen worked in a blueberry factory. The Migrant life wasn’t easy. There were times, when we would drive up north, and spend the cold winter nights in a rest stop, to rest. But my parents made the best of it. Since I can remember I’ve always had a dream of owning my own store. Always been into fashion. When I was in high school I dreamt of wondering my store and naming it Blue Berry Factory. And all the interior decor would be shades of blue. As I grew older my vision shifted. But the shades of blue will always be my favorite color palette, hence my logo. My upbringing helped shape who I wptod become. Read more>>

Lydia Davis | Juris Doctor Candidate & Blogger

Every person on this Earth has a story that we walk out of our childhoods with. The story can range from the way our parents always argued, our siblings being supportive, school being hell, or even having “too perfect of a life”. I think a lot of people try to use a straight and narrow guideline of what a “hard” or “easy” life is. But understanding that no matter the background or upbringing, it is all relative. Just because you grew up with money doesn’t equate to having a perfect life, despite popular opinions. I am originally from a very small town in Iowa. I have lived in Colorado, Tennessee, Minnesota, and now I am in Texas pursuing my law degree. I would say my upbringing and background had a huge impact on who I am today. Like so many people I did not have the “perfect” childhood. Honestly, once I accepted that all the things I went through was much bigger than me, is the moment I actually started to bloom. Not having the most stable home growing up pushed me to create stability for myself and one day create that same stability for my children. Read more>>

Betina White | Sauce Co. Shoppette General Manager & Co-Owner

Courtney and I were both born and raised in Houston. Along with being business partners, he’s my confidant and oldest nephew. We were raised on the northside of Houston in Trinity Gardens and later closer to Humble – parts of town that aren’t rich but aren’t poor either. Middle class, matriarch-led families that fostered family, closeness, love, and respect. My mother Rosie, and Grandmother Louise, were both big cooks and cafeteria ladies at HISD and there were a lot of hungry mouths to feed between the kids, the nieces, and nephews and occasionally, the neighborhood kids. Our house was on the corner, always bustling with kids – that togetherness showed us how to lean into each other when we need to and the strength from doing that allows us to now be in a place a service to others. Read more>>