Through our work we have had the good fortune of seeing firsthand how success comes in every shape, size, color, faith, and orientation.  More importantly we’ve learned that success is often the result of people embracing their unique backgrounds and so we’ve asked the community to tell us about their background and how it has impacted where they are today.

Darius House | IamDerby” (Artist

I am from Portsmouth, Virginia. I grew up in a slightly rough neighborhood named Cavalier Manor but I was raised by both my birth parents who, for the most part, kept me on a straight and narrow path. I grew up in a religious family with my grandfather, god-brother, and eventually my father as well that hold the titles of pastor/ and preacher. Growing up in the church, my first love was the drum-set and from there that was the start of “IamDerby” and my passion, love, and drive for all things musically. Many would say that majority of my productions; Read more>>

Katrina Scott | Founder of Shades of Melanin Hair

This is a interesting topic. I was born in Sealy, Texas. I stayed in Brookshire, Texas until the age of 3 then move to Houston, Texas in Acres Homes which is known as the 44. I went to Brookshire, Texas and spent almost every summer there at my grandmother’s house. I had family there and some friends I had made over the summers I spent there. We did not have much, however, it taught me about life struggles and how to survive from what we had. Even though we didn’t have much, we still smiled. Read more>>

Milan Aron | Realtor & Entrepreneur

I was born in California, but I grew up in Queens, NY. It’s quite a story for another time, but I didn’t grow up in a wealthy family. In fact, I was adopted (a couple times). My father passed at a very young age and I just met my mother a few years ago. I’ve learned independence mostly from experiences and have found that adversity breeds lessons AND blessings. I use this wisdom when I find myself feeling defeated. Read more>>

Jose “Shorty” Torres | Professional MMA Fighter

I am from the south side of chicago and being from rougher neighborhoods. I had to grow up fast and be tough. Fighting in general is a poor man’s sport. It’s our way of “making it out” and doing more in our lives instead of just staying in the hood. Fortunately, I was able to get an education in graduating with a bachelor’s degree to fall back on, but MMA/ fighting got me to that point with competing in wrestling while Going to school. Read more>>