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Inspiring Stories from the Woodlands

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 rising stars from the Woodlands and surrounding areas below.

Wrecka Kalie Hayes

Wrecka, born in New Iberia, Louisiana, started freestyling at the age of 13 years old. A few years later, eager to learn the music business. After being mentored by a close friend and learned most of the basics, you need to start distributing and publishing his own music. He found his own sound, “Hip-Hop Blues.” He was inspired by a lot of artists he grew up listening to. He adds pain and soul to his music. Wrecka will be released his debut album “Wrecktified” in December of 2020 on streaming digital outlets. Read more>>

Detrick Jones

My journey into coaching was an interesting journey. After six months without a job, I was finally hired on as a long-term substitute in Spring ISD. I eventually finished Region four to get my teaching certification. I promoted to a para-professional. From there, I volunteered coaching at Twin Creeks where I worked as a para. I then took a full time teaching position and expanded an elementary basketball and volleyball league in Spring. As I groomed the elementary students that I taught, I was still coaching at the middle school as well. I continued that journey for ten years in Spring. During that time, I met Coach Kevin Franklin of Houston Havok, who invited our students to attend some of their games. While attending, I enjoyed the product I witnessed. I then talked to him about being an assistant coach for his team. I volunteered my services as an assistant coach for four years with Houston Havok. During that time I was still being a loving father, husband and school coach. One could say I stretched myself to the limit. Two years ago, I switched over to Humble ISD to continue my coaching career. Read more>>

DeAmber Gamble

Dea’s Delectable started out, in the year of 2015, as a project for a college business class. It was literally my first time ever dipping a strawberry. My instructor believed that I had potential to turn my ideas into a potential business venture. Originally, I named my business Dea’s Sweet Treats, but after gaining more business insight, I decided to really press forward and take this thing serious. Eventually, I changed my name to Dea’s Delectable in order to separate myself from similar businesses in the area. Soon I found out that as I remain focused and consistent everything else will fall into place. Business has grown so much for me. I owe my gratitude to God and my husband for staying behind me and pushing me to become a better me. I believe my children deserve to see their mom as a successful, young educated and thriving young woman. Read more>>

Raymond Ayala

I’m from a small, rural town north east of Austin, TX. I first came to the Houston area by attending Sam Houston State University in 2009. After graduation I went to work as an educator in Aldine ISD where I worked at a Title one school, that served a high Hispanic population. While being an educator I decided to go back and work towards my Masters’ Degree which I earned in 2018. I was a teacher/coach for the first five years of my teaching career, I recently decided to stop coaching, for the time being, but still continuing to educate. I am awaiting my Principal Certification so I can better serve the entire campus. I recently received my Real Estate License so I can help others get their dream home. I find peace in helping others, that is my main purpose in life, to help others achieve their dreams. Read more>>

Marisol Mueller and Eilish Barker

We met in high school and instantly became best friends. Going into business together was always something we had dreamed about and then in June 2020 we had the idea for candles! Since the beginning we’ve tried so hard to make candles that not only smell good, but also look good. We care deeply about our community and wanted to create a product that could bring people together. Read more>>

Nakia Hanson

I am a sexual assault and cancer survivor. I have been working in trauma for over 15 years now. I know my purpose and passion in life are helping survivors of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and cancer not to suffer in silence, especially survivors of color. Because of cultural traditions, survivors of color suffer in silence every day. I suffered in silence for years after my assault because I, like so many African American survivors of relationship and sexual violence, suffer from Strong Black Woman Syndrome. Survivors of color especially African American survivors, are brought up to push through anything. This is what makes us strong. I am determined through my practice that survivors of color can push through but push through by seeking help to recover from incidents of relationship and sexual violence. I am also passionate about training early educators to be trauma-informed. Meaning learning how to recognize if their students are experiencing trauma and how to help them so it will not interrupt their learning ability. When I was going through my cancer treatment my daughter was having a hard time. Read more>>

Starlashia Nelson

I am 31 years old and I have four kids, three girls and one boy. I was born and grew up in the Acres Home community. I graduated from high school in 2007, and I currently have my Associate of Arts in Teaching and Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. I intend on going back to school soon to receive a Master’s in Education. I am currently a 2nd grade teacher. My inspiration for my business has always been my kids and my love for kids. As my three girls were growing up and having birthday parties, everyone would always tell me how over the top and extraordinary my kid’s parties were. They would even tell me I should make it into a business venture. I always thought it was a great idea, but I was always scared to take it to the next level until one day, I wasn’t scared anymore. In 2019, I decided to start a slumber party business that would be affordable for all parents, especially the parents who always wanted to give their child the best party ever but couldn’t because of financial problems. Read more>>

Kendra Leonard

I began my career in music as a cellist, training in the US and in Europe. I was interested in specializing in music of the 20th century and new music, but my performance career was cut short by an illness called lupus, which attacks the joints and made playing painful. I had always enjoyed doing research and writing, so I became a musicologist and music theorist and have written a number of scholarly books and articles. My scholarly work focuses on music and screen history and on women in music in the 20th and 21st centuries. I’m the founder and executive director of the Silent Film Sound and Music Archive, a non-profit online database. I am very happy with my scholarly career and accomplishments, but I missed being part of music performance, and I wanted to do creative writing as well as academic work. In 2014, I began writing poetry, and I had a number of poems accepted for publication right away. Read more>>

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