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Rising Stars of Balboa Park & Hillcrest

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 Balboa Park & Hillcrest below.

Matt Howse

I was born in Sydney, Australia in 1969, my parents brought us to the San Francisco Bay Area shortly thereafter. I grew up drawing a lot, playing music, being a terrible student – usual artsy kid sort of things… I originally fell in love with tattoos and tattooing when I first got tattooed in 1987. I was 18, and I found the vibe of the shop, – the sounds, the smells, the conversation, the old flash on the walls – so intoxicating. Read more>>

Joseph DiFrancisco

Joseph is a licensed Occupational Therapist and the founder of Friendly Shoes, an adaptive shoe company. He worked for more than a decade with patients ranging from toddlers to the elderly in NYC, NJ, and SD. While doing so he noticed a big problem affecting a lot of people across the age and impairment spectrum. Read more>>

Laura Milberg-Rein and Diane Milberg

As a young girl, Dr. Milberg’s mother encouraged her to become a dentist when she grew up. Knowing that she would enter the dental profession, Dr. Milberg was just 20 years old when she started UCLA Dental school and was only 1 of 4 women out of nearly 400 dental students. At that time, society did not look kindly on “assertive” women and it was difficult for her to find her path without having supportive mentors and colleagues. Read more>>

Teresa LoJacono

I grew up on the Central Coast of California with my crazy big family, fell in love with photography at a young age, moved to LA for undergraduate, said goodbye to CA and left for graduate school in NYC, stayed for 6 years and had the time of my life, eventually got tired of the cold and now I’m back in the sun learning about bike life and consuming as much Salt & Straw as humanly possible. Read more>>

Dr. Jeremy Gaynier

I loved my patients, colleagues, and knowledge I learned from an exceptional clinic. In addition to working at the clinic, I also was heavily involved within the Performance Arts Community. I had worked with Ballet Masters associated with the Joffrey Ballet, TV actors/actresses, and theater performers. I also worked with Navy Pier’s Chicago Shakespeare Theater as their Injury Prevention Doctor and treating Physician. Read more>>

Veronica Densey

Growing up in a military town as a child, all I wanted to be was a G.I. Joe. So when 9/11 happened my senior year, there wasn’t anything anyone could do to stop me from enlisting. Shortly after high school graduation, I left on my journey. I was living the life, a badass M.P. in an incredibly prestigious unit in the 101st Airborne Division (Hooligans!). Then I got hurt, and my goals all came crashing down. Read more>>

Karen Burrows

My story started many years ago in England, where I grew up and lived until I was in my thirties. I have always been fascinated by what it means to be human, the behaviors, the thinking, the interactions, the magic! I started young by ‘staring’ as my mother called it, often calling me out and admonishing me. To me, it was ‘observation. Read more>>

Brandon Killian

I started this company in April 2013. My initial reason for starting this business was in hopes of building enough clientele to bring in enough money to pay for my CDs as I’m am a musician myself; as well as to help struggling artist look as professional as possible. Business grew way faster than I had imagined it would, and as I noticed artist asking for more products, I eventually added those products to the business and created a one stop shop. Read more>>

Shelby Henry

I always knew I would be apart of the Beauty Industry. I pretty much grew up in a salon, from the time I was little, I was lucky enough to go to work with my mom. She has been a hairstylist for over 25 years, and she’s a huge reason behind my passion. I would see the way her clients would look at themselves after she was done, you could see their confidence beaming off of them. Read more>>

Nina Merry

I grew up as a pretty introverted child. My way of coping with things was to use art in a kind of therapeutic way; whenever something bad would happen, I would try to draw to calm myself down. Given that I’ve pretty much always had social anxiety in some form, I drew a lot. I’ve also moved around a lot in life, and many things were very impermanent, but the one constant I always had at my disposal was art. Read more>>

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