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Inspiring Stories from La Jolla & UTC

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 the rising stars from La Jolla & UTC below.

Survi Nathany

I moved to San Diego from the culturally rich and diverse country of Nepal. I completed a course in textile print design from one of the premier institutes in India. After years of hard work and learning, I secured myself a position as a print designer. I excelled in the field and established myself as a graphic print designer and an artist. Read more>>

BJ Retuya

I’ll start by saying that I never planned on getting into sales as a career or going into business when I was younger. When I started at SDSU back in 2001, I actually planned on getting into a post-graduate Physical Therapy program. I was even working as a Physical Therapy Aide at Sharp Hospital while in college to get exposure to the industry. Like many people in college. Read more>>

Haley Schildgen

At seven years old, I remember drawing a picture with dried out Crayola markers, taking the drawing to my mom and asking her to send it to the local museum so they could hang it up. While that didn’t necessarily work out for me, this memory is the first time I felt art to my core. It continued through middle and high school and all the way to who am today, a 25-year-old struggling artist who is loving life regardless. Read more>>

Shannon O’Brien

Never in a million years did I think I’d have the job I do, but that’s the beauty of life and where it leads us! On a daily basis, I have the privileged in help, so many individuals feel comfortable releasing their poop, and it turn, having better bowel movements because of the service I provide. Read more>>

Christopher McCoy

I can’t really say that I have a unique story, I’ve always loved art but growing up in the deep South in Mississippi it wasn’t really encouraged, and I was told to strive for a real job, and that always stuck with me. Early life inspiration came from 90s anime and Tumblr post I’d see people killing on that site, but I didn’t think I’d be able to make work like those people. Read more>>

Nicole Griffin

My mother has always been an entrepreneur at heart. She began working in the shoe business at age nineteen when she realized footwear is an extension of an individual. My parents started and sold multiple brands of footwear to high-end retailers and mail order catalogs across the US. My journey as an entrepreneur has been very interesting, but that whole journey contributed to everything that I am today. Read more>>

Jimbo “BboyShogun” Limpin

When I first started dancing, it was more for family parties, and I had a friend that would teach my brother, sister, and a few friends choreographed pieces. During this time I never really liked dancing because I was shy and quiet. Once I became exposed to breakdancing, it started off as me wanting to learn one thing. I wanted to learn windmills, and once I got them, I wanted to learn more and more. Read more>>

Justina Sanchez

I have the most amazing mom and bestie a girl could have ever been given! I am also a Product Safety Engineer at TÜV SÜD America. I started here in 2005 as a Product Safety Administrative Assistant. I was surrounded by engineers day in and day out who were working on the coolest products in technology. At TÜV SÜD we test and certify product before they go to the market to ensure they are safe for the users and meet each countries rules and regulations. Read more>>

Sulavon Bollinger

I initially started out in 2003 by auditioning for Millie Lewis International. I think the talent scouts sensed I wasn’t comfortable, due to my parents not being supportive. Even as I was trying to perform for the agents, my mom sat in the audience with her arms crossed, tapping her foot impatiently and glaring at me for “dragging her” to the casting. (Not surprisingly, I wasn’t signed on.) Read more>>

Adriana Vargas

I was born in 1975, always active and feeling alive and exited through movement. I got my first exposure to fitness when my older sister who was always battling with her weight, got a gym membership and ask me to join her so that she would go alone. I was only 13 years old when I fall in love with fitness group classes. I spend all summer at the gym more than my sister haha. I got my first aerobics certification at the age of 14. Read more>>

Brittany West

Started my esthetics journey almost seven years. Started working in day spas, eventually became a lead educator for Advance Beauty College and Paul Mitchell The School Costa Mesa. I opened my first business as a private instructor for microblading and lash extensions and eventually was given the amazing opportunity to take over my current business—after the graciousness of its previous owner Kasey Pentecost. Read more>>

Hilary Pratt and Jessica Alexander

After years of struggling with low energy and brain fog, which she just assumed (and was told by many) was caused by motherhood, Jessica decided to seek out the root cause. It took approximately seven years of misdiagnosis and unnecessary medicine to discover that she has Hashimoto’s, a very commonly misdiagnosed autoimmune disease which affects the thyroid. Read more>>

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