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.

Habeeb/Deji Ogungbade | Physical Therapist Assistant & Clinical Liaison

I’m from Houston, Tx. My parents came to the US in their 20s and paved the way. They stared from the ground up and just hustled until they became stable and had 4 kids. We thrived until I was in high school where medical complications dramatically impacted the direction of our lives. From 2016 to now, My mother has passed from advanced lupus on my sister’s bday, my brother died from alcohol poisoning in his sleep, and my dad has had 4 stroke leaving him in a nursing home. It’s safe to say I’ve been through my fair share which is why I used music as a healthy outlet. Mental health is everything. I’ll be storytelling and putting together creative pieces to explain who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. It’s not all serious though. There are some fun and relatable pieces incorporated in my work. . Pray and Push is my motto; sometimes when your back is against the wall, it’s all you can do. With the help of God and my sister, my best friend, we pushed through to make it to where we are now. Read more>>

Maria Illich | Author and Educator

I spent my formative years constantly moving. I’ve lived in the country, in small towns, in the suburbs, and in large cities. I’ve called the desert, the forest, the mountains, and the plains home. Such varied settings awoke in me an awareness of how the universal underpins the unique. I remember being five years old, gazing out the window of a plane, and marveling at how the individual fields merged into an immense tapestry. This memory highlights my passion for metaphor, perspective, and pattern. As I weave worlds with words, I am mindful of how the numinous unites, defines, and refines the stardust we call home. Read more>>

Malecia Griffin | Life Management Strategist, Advocate, and Author

This is always a fun question to me because I have never had a consistent response in how I answer. I am what is known as a military brat. My mother and father were both active-duty military. My mother is from Georgia and my Father is from South Carolina. I was raised by my mother and my stepfather whom I love dearly. When I was out of school, I spent most my childhood in Georgia with my mothers’ side of the family, which makes it more like home. I watched my mother serve in the military and not let circumstances define her. She had one goal which was to provide for me, and she did that well, while also serving her country and others. She was devoted to her cause and that resilience and strength is what I carry today. This allows me to stand alongside others who may be in situations they do not know how to face on their own. Read more>>

Felipe Reyes | Reyes Mix Michelada Owner

I was born in New Jersey but I grew up in Morelos Mexico with my maternal grandmother Rafita, who I consider my mother. She is the one who raised me and taught me valuable lessons. Thanks to her I am the businessman that I am today. She taught me that one must always work hard for their dreams and that’s exactly what I did. Reyes Mix Michelada was once a dream that turned into reality. Read more>>

Nazanin Sadé | Writer + Actor

I was born in Iran and moved to India at the age of 6. After living there for five years, my family and I moved to the U.S. as refugees when I was 11. I’ve lived in Idaho, Nevada, California, and now, Texas. I was exposed to a variety of cultures, religions, languages, and ethnicities growing up, and that has definitely shaped me and how I see the world. Being raised Baha’i has also influenced my beliefs of the world, universal law, spiritualism, and divine order. I’m grateful for my experiences because without them, I truly don’t know where or who I would be. For instance, as much as race continues to be a divisive issue in society, I grew up learning children’s songs with words like “we are flowers of one garden, we are leaves of one tree”. I grew up being taught that world peace isn’t just a dream, but a goal that is attainable if all people can unite. Read more>>