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Inspiring Stories from Pasadena

The heart of our mission at VoyageLA is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the LA’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out Pasadena’s rising stars below.

Chandra Wicke

My partner and I both worked in the film and television industry, but after we had kids, we realized that both of us couldn’t work those kinds of hours and still be sane parents — so we made the decision that I would stay home for a few years while he worked. But after a couple of years of being a stay-at-home mom, I was really struggling with my mental health. I’ve always been very ambitious and creative and I needed both a creative outlet and regular time away from my kids. Read more>>

Todd Shelton

My journey into makeup is an incredibly unlikely one, as I grew up in a rural town, roughly thirty-two miles outside of downtown Los Angeles. I grew up with a strong law enforcement presence, as my father worked, and subsequently retired from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Due to my father’s career choice, I grew up with a strong desire to serve, so from a young age, I set my sights on the Marine Corps as it seemed like the perfect way to serve, while following a different path than my father. Read more>>

Meztli Zambrano

I always knew I was born to sing – this has always been my childhood passion. I loved music and music served as an escape for me to find creativity! My musical journey started back in 1st grade when Mrs. Fortes, a dear family friend of my family heard me sing. I remember her telling my mom “your daughter can sing!” My mom found it a little funny considering I was only a first grader. She questioned Mrs. Fortes and was told that I had talent.  Read more>>

Michael Dean Clark

Let me start with where I’ve ended up. I am currently a writer, a professor of writing, and my personal business is consulting and editing stories that range from fiction to memoir to narrative journalism. How I got here was…well, initially accidental. When I was a freshman in college, I began my studies in pre-med classes, intent on being a sports physician. Chemistry had other intentions for my life. Frustrated at the loss of my sense of purpose in school, I had no idea what to do, so I asked to talk to “somebody who knows something about writing.” Read more>>

Michelle Blemel

My journey into Interior Design started at a young age. While in high school we had a presentation during our home economics class, might be showing my age here, LOL. I knew right then I wanted to become an Interior Designer, this was a big 180-degree pivot from my original dreams of becoming a Dr. Interior Design was not considered a proper field of study at the time and there were not many schools offering courses. My parents felt it best to take a year in college to be sure of my choice.  Read more>>

Jacqueline Ortiz

I started about two years, it’s a non-profit organization dedicated to my community, and I quickly realized how competitive the market was in the field of content creating strategy and advertisement. I wanted to build up, a space in which, my team and I, would present opportunities to bloggers and content creators of all types for an opportunity to collaborate with local -businesses, events, pop-ups, and VIP media events. Read more>>

Melineh Zohrabian

Have you ever had the experience of becoming a parent and realizing you’ve been given a really beautiful opportunity to experience life from the beginning again… just through adult eyes, with adult wisdom? When I had my first baby, I felt this, and saw that I had this amazing opportunity to help give my new baby a full, full life. I had so many other thoughts, concerns, and a lot of curiosity about what I could do to raise my children to not just get them ready for life on their own, but to support and empower them with inner and outer happiness and success. Read more>>

Alyssa Aparicio

I was born a dancer. Performance was my first love from the age of 2 when my mom put me in ballet in the bustle of the Bronx where I was raised and attended Catholic school for what felt like 100 years- k-12. Just like JLO, who also went to my high school, I was at constant odds with the nuns who continuously told me my skirt was too short and chastised me for skipping classes to go on auditions. I hated academia and yet my sense of duty as a grandchild of hard working immigrants and my already formed perfectionism kept me getting good grades. Read more>>

Aleza Zheng

I moved to Canada when I was young. As a non-native English speaker, I ran up communication barriers in the first few years of elementary school. I wanted to stand out, so I learned to do it through a medium that didn’t require a common language to understand–art. Creativity became my go-to solution for my problems at a young age. I would hand in a painting to complement my essay, and a nicely drawn apology note if I got into trouble, and throughout the years I realized that people like looking at beautiful things. I guess I’m an artist. Read more>>

Zelda Diana Black

My acting journey started when I was let go from the Disney College Program because of COVID. I was loving my life in Orlando, it was so different from my small town in New York. I was back home and unemployed. Heartbroken my program was cut so short and stuck inside, I didn’t know what to do to keep sane. I thought this was the end of the road for me. I started doing cosplay videos as some creative therapy and then I started to try to do some characters voices. The one that started my career was doing Azula impressions from Avatar the Last Airbender. I went on to do skits and other characters, my platform kept growing. That’s when I decided I really wanted to be a voice actor. Read more>>

Lina Van

Growing up in a low-income home where college was the expected route to be successful, I never thought I would end up as a Cosmetic Tattoo (PMU) Artist. I graduated from CSUF on the path to be an elementary school teacher, which didn’t end up working out for me. So I started working and went into a different field doing corporate sales for a Fortune 500 company. A few years later, I was very unhappy and found myself getting burnt out. My sister, Linh, inspired me to pursue tattooing eyebrows because she had gotten them done and thought it would be something I was interested in. Read more>>

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