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Inspiring Stories from The Valley

The heart of our mission at VoyageLA is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of West 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 The Valley’s rising stars below.

Laquan Copeland

I was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia. From a young age, I’ve always had a passion for entertaining and entertainment. Though, at that time I wasn’t so sure of what I wanted to do or be just yet. As a child and in your adolescence you’re still, for the most part, trying to figure out who you are and what you want to do in life. It wasn’t until high school where my true career path started to form. In 9th grade. Read more>>

Cezur III

I was raised in the Brownsville area of Brooklyn, NY. It was really the hood, so I had to deal with all the things that came with that growing up. I found a love for writing in my youth, and a teacher of mine made sure to let me know I had a talent for it. She always urged me to do that instead of being in the streets. My older brother was an aspiring rapper and convinced me one weekend to channel my writing into making songs. Read more>>

Tosin Aribisala

I started performing with my high school choir, then moved up the ladder playing the drum set with professional bands. This led to international tours, recordings and teaching gigs. After moving to the United States in 2001, I went further in my musical studies and exploits by taking some courses in music theory in addition to earning a B.A. in Business Management at the University of Maryland University College. Read more>>

Steve Dawson

I’m a Los Angeles-based full time-guitar player who also sings & plays bass (like a ‘real’ bass player) – but Brooklyn, NY-born & raised in Elmont, which is a suburb, 20 minutes outside Manhattan – very close to the hub of the world but a galaxy away from it… But I’ve always been fascinated by the mystery of how we enter this world with a predisposed gift. And when one recognizes that gift & then has the confidence to pursue it. Read more>>

Adam Kruger

I graduated from university with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree (Major in Marketing) and moved to LA to follow my passion for music. Originally, I wanted to work in AR or PR for a record label to get experience before eventually starting my own label to give more back to the artists. That dream changed rapidly as I realized that my passion for entertaining live audiences far outweighed my desire to work in any kind of office. Read more>>

Jessica Coro

I was born and raised in Guatemala. When I was in high school, I started editing some videos and making them into music videos to pass time. I showed some people my creations and my sister saw my potential and told me I should try filmmaking. I went on a film vacation course in a school called Casa Comal and they showed us a lot about the process of filmmaking. Read more>>

Adam Marino

I have to start off by saying that I come from a very creative family. My uncle Steve Brodner is an incredibly gifted political cartoonist. Growing up, he has always motivated me to be creative. Whether it was a pencil sketch, painting or making a home movie, I always had the fire to create. At the age of 9 or 10, I found myself producing and directing circus shows in the basement for my family with the help of my sister and cousins. Read more>>

Laura Dromerick

I had always been drawn to artistic and creative outlets. I played flute, practiced karate and did ballet. However, I was incredibly shy and terrified of even talking to other humans. In the 8th grade, I finally decided to face that fear and went to a musical theater camp. I loved the way the music made me feel and how certain stories and words moved me. Read more>>

Madinah Wardak

I’m the youngest daughter of refugees from Afghanistan. I’m literally the first person out of my entire humongous tribe to be born outside of Afghanistan. As a kid, I always knew my family came from another place, but after 9/11, being Muslim and Afghan at the same time was really tough. Adolescence is such an important time for identity formation – but as Muslims in America it’s hard to exist when so many messages are being thrown at you from the media. Read more>>

Vivica Menegaz

I was born in Sanremo, Italy in 1968 and though I love my country, I never felt like I fully belonged there! I always had a longing to know more, to see more, to experience the world and life to the fullest. This longing leads me to study languages from an early age, as well as being an avid reader. Buy the age of 11, I had read several books by Mahatma Gandhi and was practicing yoga on my own. Read more>>

Liana Herrera

2017 was the year I got married and also got laid off from my work of six years. After getting laid off, I started a wedding blog and through that blog, I started to receive a lot of submissions of beautiful work from various photographers around the country and world and looking at all of their photos got me inspired to start Liana Herrera Photography. Read more>>

Sarah Kathleen Roberts

It grew into a passion and a couple of years later, I started showing designs in galleries and making commissioned pieces. In 2010, I was accepted as a resident in a work/live artist community in Ventura called the WAV and since then, I have focused more on painting with Watercolors. Through painting, I have had the opportunity to teach and get involved in more community and over the past four years I’ve had two solo exhibitions of my artwork. Read more>>

Nykhia Bass

In middle school, I stumbled upon the TV show America’s Next Top Model. I never thought about modeling up until I started that show and the many seasons that it had. Seeing Tyra Banks, a black woman, have her own show and select models from around the country and world was amazing to me. All of the challenges they went through and the tips that were shared by the judges really inspired me to think that one day I could be on the show. Read more>>

Sean Martin

I started singing at 4, playing guitar at 12. I was also into theater and acting my theater class and I wrote a one act play that won an award at Lenaea theater festival. I joined the Airborne Infantry after high school, deployed to Iraq, got my CIB (Combat Infantrymans badge) before I was 21. From then, I was diagnosed with PTSD and my life was in shambles. Living a regular civilian life in a 9-5 was not an option for me. Read more>>

Lisa

Ambitious Models started in 2010. I started this company because I’ve noticed that this industry whether you are a Model, Artist, Designer or Actress it is difficult especially if you don’t have the right tools or someone to guide you. I started as a model in South Florida first. Which was very difficult. I ran into some bad photographers who took my money and made money off my photos. Read more>>

Judy Stakee

My mother says I came out of the womb singing and dancing, I was destined from the beginning to always be bathed in music. I grew up taking piano, voice and guitar lessons as well as a lot of sports activities. In 1978 when I graduated from USC with a BA in Music, there was no internet and my parents had no idea how to guide me to be a star or had any entertainment connections so I found myself in no man’s land. Read more>>

Alfonso Lugo

Alfonso’s entre into the entertainment world started when he was growing up in Mexico. He produced his own voice over shows for a local radio station while in high school and in college. His continued studies took him to Sao Paulo, Brazil (advertising and marketing), and music production in the United States. As his career blossomed. Read more>>

Candy Finnigan

Candy Finnigan is a nationally recognized author, addiction specialist and interventionist, who has been, since its beginning, one of the featured interventionists on the acclaimed A&E series “INTERVENTION.” The show has been widely praised since 2004 as a groundbreaking example of how reality television and therapeutic efforts can be combined. Critics and viewers agree that the show is riveting, positive and educational television. Read more>>

Isaiah Rosario

When I attended the Granada hills charter high school I had my first business. With my parent’s help, I was able to lease a food truck, from there my journey began. At the age of 16, having my own business and being a high school student was incredibly hard but through the help of my peers, family, faculty, and other business owners I had pushed through to run a successful food truck. Read more>>

Jonathan Andre Culliton

A little over ten years ago, I had graduated New York Film Academy in Manhattan and, upon completion of that program, had realized I was transgender. I was what we in the transgender community call a “baby trans,” only a few years into my transition and hadn’t taken any official steps. No hormones, legal name or gender marker change, no surgeries. Read more>>

Jessica DeShong

From my early years, I’ve always been a creative. Developing my musicianship was a natural path for me. I played piano, viola and sang. The theatrical side of my personality got to flex its muscles in school and community performances. Realizing I loved people and cared about their growth and successes came about as a young teen. I discovered that I am an empath, that is someone who exudes empathy for her fellow being. Read more>>

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