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Rising Stars of Downtown & Little Italy

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 Downtown & Little Italy below.

Matt Welch

Photography and videography began as a hobby to me. When I moved to Los Angeles, I acquire my first camera and would go on hikes and take photos of landscapes. As I began to gain more knowledge with the camera and editing software, I had friends and family contacting me for paid gigs. Read more>>

Sam Li

Everything I do is to make my parents proud. As a Korean-American raised in a Hispanic neighborhood with parents from Russia (yes you read that right), my story, worldview, and photography are unlike anyone else’s. My father, a Korean man born and raised in Russia, fell in love with my mother. Read more>>

Kristen Reaves Andrews

I’ve always been infatuated with business. I was the kid who actually loved bring your kids to work day and couldn’t wait to go to my mom’s office. The sounds, the nosies, the serious sounding and busy looking people bustling about. I was in Future Business Leaders of America and co-op in high school. Read more>>

Jean-Sim Ashman

I got to where I am today because I was a dreamer in high school. During class I would constantly be observing my surroundings, taking in what we were learning, and trying to decipher why or how these came to be. Just for my own enjoyment, I would begin to write down my initial thoughts about these predicaments, or about other people and their thoughts. Read more>>

James Langley

I’ve never been a stranger to hard work. In fact, I was ten-years-old when I got my first job. Most kids get their first bicycle when they turn ten, but I guess I just wasn’t like most kids! I grew up without my father in my life, which meant my brother and I had to step up to help support our mother. Read more>>

Mikey Avila

It all started with a friend of mine who just recently purchased a Canon Rebel T2I and he would should me the ropes on how it worked. I’ve became really interested in it because I’ve always wanted to capture a moment or a scene in real-time in creative ways. A year later, my father bought my first DSLR and it was the Sony A350 when they first started a DSLR series. Read more>>

Ed Visions

My parents used to own a point and shoot 35mm film camera and a camcorder as well so I think that was where it all started for me. I used to skateboard all over town with my brother and a bunch of friends and just film everything. I must have been around seven years old when that was going on, and we did that for like five straight years every day. Read more>>

Marc Hansen

My younger brother (Matty) and I started jamming together back in 2006/2007. We got a band going around 2009. We were writing our own songs and decided to call the band Electric Mud, after a Muddy Waters album by that title. This was back in Staten Island NY where we were born and raised. Read more>>

Jennifer Borba Von Stauffenberg

It all started with Cyndi Lauper in 1985. I was six years old, glammed up with my pink ruffled skirt, scrunchied ponytail, and jelly bracelets up to my elbows, seeing and experiencing true self-expression for the first time. Earlier that day, my Dad surprised me and my older sister with tickets to our first concert. In disbelief that Cyndi Lauper was a real person. Read more>>

Nick Hernandez

I come from a family of healthcare workers (doctors, pharmacists, nurses) but I took a different route. I’m a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former Marine Corps officer. Afterwards, I obtained my MBA from Wake Forest University and began my healthcare career as an administrator for a private practice oncology group. Eventually, I started to see an opportunity to help other private practice physician groups with the business side of their medical practices. Read more>>

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