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Inspiring Stories from Downtown

The heart of our mission at VoyageHouston 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 Houston’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 Downtown’s rising stars below.

Cyrus Rodas

I began acting at a young age, as early as elementary school. I’d participate in school dramas and theater classes whenever given the opportunity to be included. I always loved performing in many facets of art, including music such as orchestra, percussion, rock bands and singing. It allowed me to express myself in ways I never could in a normal public setting. Around high school, I began to notice, as well as others. Read more>>

David Moyer

Ever been to a performing arts show by yourself? No? Really? You’re not alone. With one of the strongest performing arts communities in America, the Houston TheaterMob aims to grow support across the spectrum of the performing arts by connecting both existing and new patrons through a social network. What this means is that we coordinate group attendances to multiple local arts organizations: the Houston Symphony, Ballet, Grand Opera, Alley Theatre. Read more>>

Kiera Moore

At 17 years old, I was introduced to the nursing field as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), providing healthcare services to elderly clients within their homes. A love for nursing quickly developed through home healthcare. Clients looked forward to visits, and we became family. On days I was not scheduled to work, I would find myself calling or going by to check on clients as some of them did not have families nearby. Read more>>

Magdalina Spangelo

I grew-up between two very different worlds. The old world of Saint Petersburg, Russia and sunny Carmel, California. Both exposed me to the world of fine art. I have always loved watching couture runways shows from Paris and Milan. It wasn’t until after designing my wedding gown that I discovered I could turn my passion into a career. The design process captivated me, and I wanted to keep creating. Read more>>

Karmoh Sheriff

While studying graphic design in college, I received several requests from friends and family to design material for their businesses or organizations they were a part of. Anything from business cards, event flyers, brochures, logos, social media posts, product packaging, and stuff of that nature. I realized my skills could serve as an asset to people. I decided to start freelancing and apply my skills while studying. Read more>>

Marcus Mohon

For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt compelled to express myself through pen and paper. I started scribbling at a young age and still sketch out many of the designs I envision today. I also have an aunt who’s an interior designer in Oklahoma City who I always thought was the absolute coolest (still do, Auntie Mame)! Flash forward a decade, and I had earned a degree in economics from Baylor University and was experiencing a steady longing to return to more creative pursuits. Read more>>

Jueville Hagans

My mother was a “kitchen beautician” but always focused on maintaining healthy hair. She went from brunette to blonde, from redhead to frosted tips but always maintained healthy hair by deep conditioning, wearing steam caps, and doing hot oil treatments. So all those techniques stayed with me through the years. My main goal is always to make my clients have strong, healthy hair, whether short, medium, or long lengths. Read more>>

Chef Dolores Allen

I started my culinary passion right in my mother, Lu Ann Allen’s (RIP) kitchen. I was the big sister who loved to explore the items my mom rarely used and cooked for my then two sisters and one brother. I now have three sisters and three brothers. I took cooking classes in middle school and learned recipes like Monkey Bread at the age of 12. At a young age, I would make dishes for family gatherings and tried to perfect them later. Read more>>

Dorian Giles

My name is Dorian Giles, and I am an Artist (I sketch and paint), Lifestyle Consultant, aspiring Sports Agent, and the Basketball Director of Humble Over Hype. I am a 2L at Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and I am from Kansas City, Missouri. My journey began when I was young. I developed a love for basketball, both as a player and connoisseur. I grew a deep interest in particular players such as Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Brandon Jennings, and Derrick Rose. Read more>>

Brandon KA-Bee Smith

As most groups tend to due when they are first starting, we ran into problems and had to cut them, then six member group down to just 4. After that, we had to cut it down to 3. Just when I thought the group had that right number, lol we went down to just two. We called Biggie because he was big like Biggie lol, where all that was left. We begin recording songs and came up with a mixtape that had this song that people loved called ‘Blessed. Read more>>

Elena Tabraue Romo

I had big dreams but few resources to achieve them. However, my mother always told me, “if you get a degree, your future will be better.” Based on that, I dedicated my time studying during high school to get good grades and to be admitted to the geoscience program at the University of Havana, Cuba. In 2005, I started to study meteorology. Still, one year before I graduated, I left my University, my country, and my family to come to the United States looking for a better life opportunity. Read more>>

Belle Lundon

I started off with love for the entertainment business when I saw a little girl about the same age as me on a television show. The love for show business increased when I saw Patti LaBelle singing about “The Letter X” on Sesame Street. I looked up to Michael Jackson’s artistry as well as other artists whose careers have inspired me. My mom helped me get started in the entertainment industry with headshots and finding theatrical representation. Read more>>


My name is Michauli and I’m a 23 year old music artist. I cover most genres like Rap, Pop and R&B. I was born in Beaumont, Texas. However, I always say I came from Houston because that’s where I was able to be my most authentic self as a gay man. My influences range from so many artists to Beyoncé, Lorde, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, and Anna Nalick. I came out slowly to my family and friends between the ages of 17-20 years old. Read more>>

Brandi Lowery

I have always enjoyed entertaining & hosting my events. Play.Choose.Date.™️ Speed Dating with a Game Night Twist (P.C.D.) was an idea that informed while I was in law school. I would always see various game night events being promoted in various different cities. One day, I mentioned to my best friend LaToya Sheals, “I wouldn’t mind combining speed dating with a game night! She gave me this puzzled look and then followed up. Read more>>

Matt Yalcin

I’ve always loved music. When I was still riding in a car seat, I remember my dad would put on his disc collection of the 100 Greatest Classical Pieces, and I would swoon. I couldn’t be more thankful that my parents took notice and put me in piano lessons when I was 6. I picked up the guitar at 13 years old when my older brother left to serve a tour in Iraq, leaving me his guitars. When he came back. Read more>>

Somerset Green Hines

In 2013, Hines purchased a 46-acre land parcel and announced it would develop Somerset Green, Houston’s first guard-gated, master-planned community inside the 610-Loop. Since then, we have partnered with five premier builders—Coventry Homes, Darling Homes, Pelican Builders, Riverway Homes and Toll Brothers—to create a community where residents feel worlds away in the heart of the city. Read more>>

Kim Pence

My life is about transformation and healing and a near-death experience was the catalyst for a major shift I experienced in 2010. Initially, I came to Houston to study and then practice interior design and studio art. Ever curious about the transpersonal world of energy and the power of the mind, I wrote my design thesis on the psychological effects of one’s environment on their wellbeing. Read more>>

Lotfi Driouech

Lotfi Driouech was born in Casablanca, Morocco. And at a young age, developed a passion for soccer through his training at his club, where he played until 19. He spent most of his soccer career at Wydad FC and also played for European League. He then made a move to the US, learned English, and continued playing and sponsoring in multiple leagues and tournaments. Lotfi has spent the last 20 years in Texas, and currently plays for Houston FBASA League with ATLAS LIONS team, and HFA league. Read more>>

Jerry Pollio

Applause to the Musician was created as a vision to empower, engage and create an additional outlet for musicians. The mission is to support the voice, spirit and character of musicians by professionally video recording interviews that feature their unique musical journey. There is absolutely no cost to those musicians selected to be interviewed aside from their time. Ideally, we can help keep music alive through these amazing stories for future generations to enjoy. Read more>>

Laura Czapski

COLOR MAKES ME HAPPY! I have always been a makeup, clothes, a self-proclaimed vintage junkie, and making people feel their absolute BEST. Personally, playing in my Grandma Ruby’s makeup was my favorite pastime as a kid. In 2018, a friend told me about the House of Colour (“HOC”), and I was immediately intrigued as it seemed to tie together my absolute favorite things in life into a business. Read more>>

Shalara Wells

I have always been a writer since I’ve learned how to write. In elementary, I got in trouble for writing a provocative story. It was a fictional story that I made up in my little head. My best friend Clifton drew the pictures to go with the story. I wrote it on a tablet, and all of my peers would pass the tablet around to read it. It sparked too much attention from the staff. Soooo, yea I got in trouble lol. I always saw writing as being apart of me. Read more>>

Jerry Autry

I’ve worked in human resources for the past twenty years, and I’ve seen the need for mentoring when it comes to young professionals who come from backgrounds where they are not exposed to corporate professionals and entrepreneurs. I started this organization to help level the playing field and lower the risk of making career-limiting mistakes due to lack of mentoring, information, and other resources. Read more>>

Christina Allen

Originally from Oklahoma City, I began my photography business almost four years ago. I received a camera as a birthday gift and wanted to learn how to use it. This turned into me cold-calling any photographer in the OKC area looking for classes or mentor sessions. Read more>>

Dr. Shelly Williams

I was born and raised in New Orleans, which I feel ultimately added to my background of caring for and helping others. There, we’re very down to earth, loving, and want to feed or care for everyone, strangers or not! I graduated from Edna Karr High School and since then, they have been featured in Beyonce’s videos, Ciara recently visited, and they are the reigning football State Champs for four years in a row now. Read more>>

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