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.

GIoconda Parker | Yoga Instructor & Teacher Trainer, Somatic Therapist and Retreat Guide

I’m from all over really. My father was a missionary when I was born and continued to work as a minister throughout my childhood and young adult years. As I look at the life I’ve created for myself, I can see how so many early impressions helped to shape my life. Early on I learned to dive in and look for what there was to appreciate about a place—the landscape, food, and people that made each place what it was. When I choose where and how to retreat with students, I consider these three factors, and how to build an experience that lets them connect with all three anywhere we go. As for the missionary side of things—while I didn’t take up the religious side of that life, I think watching my father dedicate himself and his life’s work to something he believed in informed a sense of both freedom and permission to do the same. I never felt pressure to be “successful” in any traditional sense of that word, but being true to what you believe–THAT was always important. Read more>>

Courtney Richard | Artist Manager

I am from Houston, Texas. I was raised by a strong grandmother who taught me to never depend on others. I am successful because she made sure we understood that working hard and getting an education will take you where ever you want to go in life. Because of my grandmother I am very independent and disciplined and it shows in the way I run my business. Read more>>

Armov | Musician & Educator

I was born into a musical, traditional Armenian family which was and is to this day immersed in song and dance. Born in Sochi, and spending much of my childhood between the country of George and Armenia, my ancestral land, I was always heavily immersed in that music and culture. Being exposed early to traditional folk music, and the talented people in my family who are virtuosos and expert dancers, helped plant a seed of music in me that has grown into what it is today. In the 80s, my parents managed a large touring band of dancers and musicians which performed all through Europe and Asia. In a way, I’m trying to keep that musical flame alive and pass it to future generations in my family. Read more>>

Angelica Poole | Owner

I was born and raised right here in Houston, Texas. My dad had his own business and was able to provide for us while my mom was a stay at home mom & took care of five kids. Both of my parents were very hard workers. They did not have college degrees but did very well running their own business. My mom never worked outside the house but made sure her five kids were taken care of. My mom also helped my dad as much as possible with the business. They set a great example for us growing up. I got my hard working mindset from both of my parents and I am very grateful!. Read more>>

Damonica Gorrell | Pharmacist

I was born in New Orleans and raised in Third Ward, Houston. Third Ward back then and even today had a diverse socioeconomic mix. We lived in low income housing but you could literally walk 3 blocks and see million dollar homes. One of the most successful black dentists lived just a few blocks from my apartments. Everyday I went to school I could see successful black people and that enabled me to dream and to realize that success is achievable. In addition, although my family was not wealthy, I had the opportunity to be exposed to different environments, whether it was through extended family or through school programs. The combination of my mother and exposure to different people and environments made me more well rounded and well grounded. Read more>>