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Inspiring Stories from Old Town-Mission Valley

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 Old Town-Mission Valley below.

Jennifer Nelson

I was born with a penchant to nurture. I had an innate sense to support the underdog, to be the shoulder to cry on, to offer advice, and to run the extra lap with the last kid. There was a moment in my gymnastics career where a teammate was injured and her doctor gave her poor advice, “Take this anti-inflammatory and rest for two weeks”. Having been through the injury myself, we began to rehab together during practice. It made sense to me without formal education and to nobody’s surprise, we both progressed in our gymnastics skills and strength. It was moments like these that led me to exploring the medical field and deciding that I wanted to be a doctor. My exploration was both personal and performance based as I had experienced many injuries in my sports career. The curiosity that was elicited from the medical processes I endured and the physiological processes of the body directed me towards manual therapy. During undergrad, I began volunteering at a large physical therapy company in which I worked my way to managing the exercise aides. Read more>>

Kelley Dunn

I started esthetician school because I had always suffered with acne and the low self esteem it left me with. While in esthetician school, they started offering a lash course. Once I took it, I fell in love with lash extensions and the boost of self esteem they gave me. Once I got my esthetician license, I focused mainly on lash extensions. I started as Lashed x Kelley, but soon realized I was limiting myself. I remembered the reason I started esthetician school so I started offering facials and facial treatments. I also started to dive into waxing. Since I am no longer only offering eyelash extensions, I completely rebranded my business to Crystal Glow Esthetics. I love every aspect of esthetics. Meeting my clients, making them feel good about themselves, and most of all, learning. Read more>>

Kelsea Little

I am the Head of Brand Storytelling at GoFundMe. I started at the company in May of 2013 shortly after graduating and it turned out to be a complete dream job. When I joined we were 15 people in a small office over in Kearny Mesa, a true start-up. Now, GoFundMe is over 400 employees with offices all over the world. I have been lucky enough to be able to grow with the company and carve out a career path in marketing & storytelling. I love it so much!. Read more>>

Marco Diaz

I’m originally from Guatemala City, and I have lived in Mexico and the U.S. for 24 years. I obtained a B.S. in Mechanical/Electrical Engineering from Tec de Monterrey in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. However, I realized that engineering was not my absolute passion. I experimented with miscellaneous jobs until I landed a Spanish teaching job at a private language school in Chicago, where I discovered my fondness for languages, especially English and Spanish. An obvious requirement to land this language teaching job was to know inside out the fundamentals of Spanish grammar. I did my homework, and soon enough, I was able to explain, among other concepts, the difference between ser and estar, when to use the indicative tenses versus the subjunctive mood, and what are direct and indirect objects. I then moved to San Diego, California, where I joined another private language school with a different teaching method. I continued gaining more experience and immersing myself deeper into the world of grammar. Soon, I was reading entire books on the subject matter. At this language school, I had my first contact with translation, and a whole new world opened up before me. Read more>>

Brenda Aguilar

I have loved photography, not just taking photos, but I love to make sure each of them conveys emotions and tells a story. I really got into the art of professional photography after the birth of my oldest son, who is now 16 years old. Taking photos of my son reignited my passion for photography, so I decided to start my own photography business taking pictures of families and weddings. During this time, we were trying to have more children without any success. After a couple of years of trying, we decided to become foster parents with the option of adoption. We got lucky, and we were able to adopt our first foster placement, a two-month-old little boy. The adoption experience has been such a wonderful yet challenging experience not only for me but also for my adoptive child. Mainly, making sure my child feels like he is my own without having him feel like his birth parents abandon him or minimize the incredible sacrifice that a birth parent has to go through when they give up a child. That is why as part of our healing process, I wrote and published a book to explain the adoption process to children. Read more>>

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