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Inspiring Stories from South LA

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 South LA’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rebel rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out South LA’s rising stars below.

Ian Michael

I am a real estate professional who takes pride in educating my peers to create wealth through real estate. I first got into real estate in 20012 as a Loan Officer doing mortgages. But three years later, I realized my calling was helping people hands-on with the buying and selling real estate directly. I have done over 100 real estate transactions over the years and now my goal is to help more people accomplished their dreams. I have expanded my real estate group and now our goal is to help 70 families buy and sell real estate in 2021. Even with the pandemic happening in 2020 me and my team have had the best year in real estate yet. We have shifted our focused to educating the community with our virtual home buyer seminars and they have been a huge success. Read more>>

Toya Denise

About eight and a half years ago, I found myself mentally, physically, and emotionally at an incredibly low point in my life. I was fresh out of a relationship and a few months prior, graduated college. I was really trying to find myself and figure out my future and where I wanted my life to go. I was at the heaviest weight I had ever been, feeling so disconnected and uncomfortable in my own skin. It was at a point where I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror anymore. I think I was around 23 years old at the time but looked and felt much older. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking to myself, “I can’t keep feeling like this, I need the outside of me to reflect who I am on the inside”. I needed to make a change. Read more>>

Kameale Terry

Prior to launching ChargerHelp! I worked for a company that provided software for electric vehicle charging stations. During my time there, I stood up our customer experience department, network operations center, and programs department. In my last role, my team was responsible for EVSE infrastructure build-out in the United States as well as advising the build for network providers in Australia and Canada. While finding electrical contractors to complete the installation of the charging station was easy. When our stations went down, we were often waiting a week to have someone get onsite and many times stations were left broken for 30 days. Many times because the station was actually experiencing a software issue, firmware issue, or a connectivity issue – not an electrical issue. Read more>>

Jarrett Jamison

I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio with a love for sports and all things creative. When I am creating I am at peace, and I find joy in making my art, designing clothing and merchandise. I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts with a focus in studio art painting from The University of Cincinnati – DAAP, where I was a Darwin T. Turner Scholar. After graduating in 2009 during a recession, it was difficult to find work in the arts, so I started painting full time, but with all of the stress of trying to find shows and opportunities, I was burnt out within a year. Read more>>

Meryl Nicole Taylor

I was born four months early in upstate New York. From the get-go I was a tenacious one and out to prove something either to myself or others. I was raised in Seattle where my parents are from though my dad is originally from a small town in Southeast Alaska called Ketchikan where I spent many summers and eventually attended high school. It’s beautiful, magical, lush and wild. Fishing and kayaking and rain is a way of life and Bald Eagles, Orcas and Humpbacks are like your protective and mindful next door neighbors. There’s something special and sacred about the Northwest Coast Native American art and their history and I’ve tried to honor this in my art, specifically my abstract colored pencil drawings and paintings. Read more>>

Eva Reyes

I had the idea of creating a cosmetic line that celebrated the love of horror and makeup together in the back of my head for about two years and I needed the right push to start it. I was terrified of starting a business and getting exposure and just the idea of it getting out of hand terrified me but I finally just went for it and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I am so proud to be apart of the small cosmetic shop community as a Latina, a woman of color, and a minority. I felt like there wasn’t enough woman of color in the alternative/goth scene that were business owners so it’s an honor to be all of those things together to inspire, to give that push and to pave ways to anyone out there who wants to represent our community! Read more>>

Miracle Wright-Lindo

I’m 17 years old, from South Central Los Angeles, and I am a dancer. Growing up my mom did not have money for dance lessons but that was my dream. I was always flexible and as a young girl, I could bend and twist easily and didn’t really understand what it was or how to use it to my advantage. My dad is from Jamaica and he would take me to Caribbean birthday parties and cookouts on weekends and that is where I learned dancehall and reggae culture. When I was younger, my dad was a party promoter and gave dances and stage shows. So, I have a been around music and dance most of my life. I feel that is what it has been a great influence in my interest in dance. Read more>>


My creative journey really started in high school when my best friends and I created a collective focused on supporting each other with collaborative projects. We would just meet up after school and drive all around South Bay. Though Unstable the Label/The Coven eventually dissolved the bond and love is still there. Once I entered my first year at Howard University I knew I wanted to still pursue my creative visions. I applied to join many creative collectives or organizations on campus as a model and creative director. Unfortunately, I was met with many “no’s” instead of “yes’s” but in retrospect it made me a better self-advocate. Read more>>

Matthew Crawford

I was born in Inglewood, CA and almost immediately moved to Pomona after that. I’ve never known what stability in life was like. My infancy was spent in Pomona and then my mother got section 8 and we moved to a very bad area of San Bernardino, where I spent the next nine years. This would be the longest I’ve ever spent in one place doing anything. I was raised in a single-parent home, in an environment, neighborhood, and around peers that didn’t understand me. Despite this, I was determined to make a change and to help people be better. My story as an entrepreneur started at the age of 20 when I created the concept of Xcape. it started as Xcape Gaming Solutions. I was a regular patron of gaming lounges in the area. Read more>>

Robin Yancey

I graduated from college in 2012 from Long Beach State with a degree in radio broadcasting but found myself working as a full-time teller at Citibank. I always had my nails done to look presentable for work, but through many failed appointments and injuries at nail salons around my house, I decided to do my nails myself. Fortunately, I have always been artistic so I began experimenting with different nail art styles. I got so much recognition from my co-workers and clients of the bank for my nail skills that I investigated the potential for making good money doing nails. I quickly realized that I had stumbled across an under-rated gold mine- nail technology could lead me to magazine shoots, being on staff for ad campaigns, and even being a personal manicurist for celebrities. Read more>>

Myke Groov and Rufus Blaq

At age 18, Rufus Blaq would sign his first deal and take a one-way ticket to Atlanta and get the opportunity to work with Dallas Austin. His career would soon grow and he would sign to perspective records and create the classic album “ credentials”. As a teenager, he would perform his group EZ Access that had won many talent shows around the city. Including the famed “south high Variety” show. This show would attract thousands every year. Myke Groov saw this show for the first time at 13 and knew that he wanted to perform. He was already a DJ and learning how to make beats. He tried to enter in the show with his brother Buckeye Pauly & Jason Walker but the moderators said they were great but too young. Read more>>

Jasmine Strachan

I started Jasmine’s Cup of Tea (JCOT) my last semester in college. It started online and then I made the decision to transition to Instagram because I am always scrolling down my timeline, just like everyone else. I have always been a fan of good conversation and I’m naturally inquisitive. I love learning and hearing other people’s perspectives. I think conversation is an underrated birthplace to learn, grow and affect change. So that became my ultimate goal with JCOT, to raise awareness, educate, and discuss themes in the hopes to understand differing perspectives and ultimately affect change. Read more>>

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