We asked some of the city’s rising stars to reflect on what made a difference in their journey. We asked them to tell us about what they think the most important factor has been behind their success.

Chasta Winslow | Executive Director & Entrepreneurial Visionary

My heart has always been of servitude-my joy comes from being able to provide a service or fulfill a need that brings reprieve to others. Each year I choose an organization to volunteer with such as KTSU, Habitat for Humanity (northwest), Houston Food Bank, etc, because it’s important to be intentional with acts of selflessness. One of the most important passion projects dear to my heart is my 501C3 nonprofit organization, Kudos Youth & Community Enrichment Program (K.Y.C.E.P.), founded in 2016. Like most teachers, I wear many hats: Mother, Auntie, Financial Advisor, Banker, Counselor, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, etc. and those hats are applied at some point each day. Each month I took a portion of my check to supply food, clothes or opportunities for my students. I did it willingly because my heart is pleased when I see their smiles or exhales of relief. Kudos spearheaded a project where we partnered with local business and sponsors to provide disaster relief to local citizens, providing food and care packages. Read more>>

Melissa Hammons | Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor, and Nutrition & Wellness Counselor

Being true to who I am and using my struggles as my strength to keep going and building my brand. It has been a long hard road to get here (not just in business but in life). It has made me the person I am today and made me a better person to help those struggling with their confidence, health and fitness. Read more>>

Jamal Jones | Podcaster

Our most important factor for our success is consistency. I know it may sound cliché, but in the podcast industry that’s what separates the great podcasts from the mediocre. It’s been a battle for all of us trying to deal with covid and conflicting schedules with being fathers and husbands. At the end of the day we try our best to carve out that time to get a pod or two in. Read more>>

Blanca Pena | Model, makeup artist, stylist.

I wsnt to succeed for all women who were told no. I want to succeed for my daughters so they can see that they can do anything they put their mind to.
I want to be first generation success in as many ways as possible…I want my parents sacrifices to be worth it. I also wsnt to succeed for myself, I want to look back one day and say “you did it, you did that!” Read more>>

Austin Rogers | Artist

Focus and family support. Read more>>