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East San Diego’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at the SD Voyager 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 San Diego’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 inspiring stories from East San Diego below.

Kassandra Lerma

For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with styling hair! My journey started at California Hair Design Academy where I was able to prepare for my state board testing to become licensed! Throughout my career, I have invested in multiple education courses and classes to stay up to date with the latest trends and techniques. I believe my hard works and dedication has lead me to where I am today. Read more>>

Amanda Salazar

I was born in Costa Rica and in 2002, my mom and I came to the U.S in search of the American dream. It was hard while I was a child because I was an illegal immigrant until 2008, when I finally gained my residency. I was able to go back to my home country and know more about my roots. Having the privilege of going back to Costa Rica every year made the pursuit of my American dream easier. Here in America, we take the simplest things for granted such as the array of cereals in an aisle or the number of clothing stores in a mall or simply the type of roof over our head. Going to Costa Rica made me realize the great opportunities you can obtain by solely living in the United States of America. It took me several years to come and act on this realization. Read more>>

Bryan Buckley

Helmand Valley Growers Company (“HVGC”) is on a mission to put an end to the opioid addiction and suicide epidemic plaguing our Nation’s Heroes. We believe that by exploring the benefits of medical cannabis, we have discovered the most effective way to combat these crises and bring proper aid to those who gave so much to our great nation. HVGC is owned by Special Operations Veterans that are 100% disabled via our VA disability rating. We know all too well what our heroes face daily. Talking with members of congress, they stressed to us the days of advocating are over. It was clear that what they need is data backed up by American doctors. We have partnered with NiaMedic (an Israeli-based company with offices in the United States) and together, we have submitted our first pilot study evaluating the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis on the stressors of post-traumatic stress management. Read more>>

Janelle Torres

My community knows me as Ojos, I am a 23 years old Chicana-Cannabis Artist. I started my brand Ojos De Mota when I was 21 years old. Ojos De Mota comes from my roots. My mom would always yell things like “Otra ves con los Ojos de mota!”, “Again with your weed eyes!”. It was a constant struggle to have to explain the benefits of cannabis and it’s sacred healing properties to her but after years of hard work, she realized the benefits not only for myself and herself but as a community as well and has seen my brand grow. The name Ojos De Mota comes from your Third Eye portal opening up when you’re elevated. I specialize in creating handmade Smoking Essentials. I create unique Roach Wands, Wax Wands, and Cannabis Jewelry. Read more>>

Priyanka Madhukar

I am the soul behind ‘The Creative Impulse’. I have always been passionate about living a creative life and my little blog is a thought since many years to pass on the creative impulse to people around me. It is beautiful to enjoy the little things in life and be grateful. While I happily enjoy crafting a life I love, sharing the joy is an amazing craft too. When my friends and followers get back to me to say how positive they feel following my posts, I feel this is where I wanted to be when I started the blog. I believe this creative impulse is contagious! Let it keep spreading and see more and more happy smiles!! Read more>>

Rachel Brodsky

I grew up in Washington D.C., as a competitive showjumper. As a teenager, I struggled with a learning disability, eating disorder, and substance abuse. As I found myself on the road to recovery, I began to dream of one day being able to support others. After moving to California in 2015, I began my studies to become a Substance Abuse Counselor and Recovery Coach. As I began to work in the field, I found a scarcity in alternative treatment options. In 2017, after receiving my certification in equine-assisted therapy, I decided to start my own program. Read more>>

Jasmyne Norris

I started being interested in the art of makeup in high school. My mother took me to mac and just let me pick product out. I would dibble and dabble with the makeup from high school on through college. While attending Tennessee State University, I started to become all the more interested in fashion and makeup as a whole. I grappled back and forth with the idea of doing makeup or taking another route in life. In 2017, I was in a very low place emotionally & spiritually and I just needed to get out. My best friend is someone that pushed me to start pursuing makeup again. One day she happened to be volunteering for a high school majorette dance team, and she needed my help with the creative direction as a whole. It was that experience that stirred up my love and passion for makeup a form of art, a craft. Read more>>

Sam Codington

I am the fourth of five children raised by a Presbyterian pastor and teacher on a small farm in South Carolina. Our house was like a miniature library. If we wanted to enjoy a story, it meant pulling a book off the shelf and reading it. When I was ten years old, I began traveling with my parents to the island of Hispaniola working with pastors and teachers in remote villages to help with nutrition and education. I will not soon forget, as a ten-year-old, my dad kneeling down next to me in the middle of a Haitian village and saying, “Sam, this is their home, do you understand?” In retrospect, I realize he wanted me to cultivate empathy. I am so grateful my parents included me early on in their work with those who face enormous and dehumanizing systemic challenges that extend through history and into the present. Read more>>

Candace Hudnell

I started acting when I was seven years old. I started out with school plays and showcases, then when I got to college, I did a few shows in Chicago for Theatre Momemtum and The Runaways Lab Theatre. Read more>>

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