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Inspiring Stories from South San Diego

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 South San Diego below.

Eddie Sakatani

I am Setsuko Sakatani, or as most people call me, Eddie. I am 21 years old, originally from La Paz, Mexico, but moved to San Diego almost 11 years ago. My interest in makeup began in High School. I started doing my friends’ makeup for proms, homecomings, graduations and quinceañeras. Everybody loved my work; therefore I decided to enroll in beauty school right out of high school. It was very hard for my parents and my teachers to come around since I earned very good grades throughout high school and was accepted to a couple universities. Read more>>

Chandra Snow

I have always had a sixth sense, but I never fostered it growing up. I almost was raised to fear it and repress it. After leaving the place I grew up, my journey of growth and change truly began. I went through some major life changes and many of them were unpleasant. Luckily, it’s all been lessons and each of those moments of growth led me to where I am now. Read more>>

Sean Panado

I grew up playing sports. It was around the age of six or seven that I found my love for basketball, and with that love came role models. Role models can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and for various reasons. For example, the role model of my best friend is Rakim Mayers (also known as A$AP Rocky) because, according to him, he is “hella fly.” As for myself, my childhood heroes consisted of talented basketball players who carried themselves with class both on and off the court. Read more>>

Santiago Granados Mann

I was born in Mexico City and grew up in Cuernavaca, 45 minutes south of Mexico City. I’m a guitar player, producer and songwriter. I started playing music when I was 11 years old. Inspired by the music, my parents and big brother would play around the house. Bands and artists like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and a good dose of world and classical music.Read more>>

Gazelle Chavez

There was a time where I would spend around 200-400$ on stuff from fashion nova, I wasn’t very educated on the wholesale industry but I figured that they had to be making a profit off me. I took a trip to my local mall and I saw that some of the items in other physical clothing stores had the same tags before fashion nova started branded most of their stuff. So as soon as I had enough money, I took a trip to LA after looking up the wholesale district and I bought whatever I thought was cute. Read more>>

Shaina Foster

I used to watch America’s Next Top Model endlessly growing up. I would practice my walk and poses in the mirror with the idea that I could do it too, although I never thought it to be actually attainable for me. I struggled with low self-esteem most of my life, so modeling was the furthest from reachable for me at the time. Fast forward to my freshman year of undergrad, my friend (angellvisions on Instagram) asked me to model for her for a project she was working on. Read more>>

Rey Marquez

We did not have a lot of money growing up. I have five siblings and we moved around a lot, from Fontana, CA, to Zacatecas, Mex, to Wichita, KS, back to Guadalajara. When people asked me where I grew up, I don’t have a clear answer, and no, my parents were not military, just chasing opportunities, I guess. Throughout all the moving my mom always worked at clothing factories and would sometimes bring homework, which we would help her with. So at an early age, I was introduced to industrial sewing machines and textiles. Read more>

Merari Navarro

I got to where I am today, honestly, by pure rebellion. I knew being part of the norm wasn’t good enough, that doing just what was and is expected of me wouldn’t make me happy. I enjoy challenging myself and doing things that absolutely terrify me and 100% excited me. Most of all, I love accomplishing things people told me I couldn’t do. So, with that being said, I decided I wanted to become an airline pilot. Read more>>

Reggie Brown

I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid. I was working in the biotech field when I got laid-off. I decided that I wanted a career change and started posting my drawings on Instagram, where my future agent Christy saw my work and contacted me. Now I get to wake up everyday and illustrate for a living. Read more>>

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