Even if you are from the same neighborhood as someone else, you might still be coming from different places. Where you are from is a complicated question and it elicits complicated, but interesting and thought-provoking responses. We’ve shared some of those responses below.

Lori Joiner | Speaker, Author, Discipleship Coach

I grew up in an alcoholic home where my parents divorced when I was in the third grade. In the 8th grade, I moved in with my father and stepmother and by high school, I was drinking myself. I was kicked out of school for 5 weeks my sophomore year. I was seriously headed in the wrong direction in every way possible. My father got a job in another city and we moved just before my junior year of high school. What I thought was the worst thing that could happen to me, moving in the middle of my high school career, turned out to be the best thing for me. It was here, in a town right outside of Houston, I was invited to a local church by my new neighbors. The youth director of that church shared with me about God’s love and plan for me. He said God loved me and created me to have a personal relationship with Him. He further explained I was a sinner. I actually knew this; I just did not think I was as bad as others, and that Jesus had died for all my sins, was then buried, and raised to life three days later. He talked about me placing my faith in Jesus, not my good works (I did not have much anyway), as a means to salvation and eternal life with him. Read more>>

Jida Nabulsi | Mom, Wife, & Innovative Leader

I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, but I have struggled with this question my entire life. Where am I from? Early in my childhood, it was evident that I am from Houston. I am American. But my parents are immigrants from Lebanon and Syria, so when people would ask me where I am from and my response would be, I’m from Houston. Well, where are you ORIGINALLY from? It seemed to me that we as a community had already segregated ourselves as white people are American and everyone else is from someplace else. With two working parents, growing up in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood, and attending A. A. Milne elementary school, I was surrounded by so many different people. Growing up in the 90’s I didn’t think about color, race, or ethnicity. In middle school at Paul Revere, I was a part of a group of students that attended a seminar held at the University of Houston. It was an entire day dedicated to inclusion. That seminar had forever changed me. Injustice angers me. Read more>>

Vianney Rodriguez | Cookbook Author, Recipe Developer

I was born and raised in South Texas. My parents are from Matamoros, Mexico. Growing up my parents shared with us the culture, food and traditions of Mexico, while enjoying the beauty of South Texas. I enjoyed local Texas shrimp in the summer while we baked dozen after dozen of pumpkin empanadas at the holidays. All my favorite memoires are in the kitchen and around the dining table. This really inspired me my in my journey into comida. Read more>>