SELF MADE Stories

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Julissa Arce: From Undocumented to Self-Made, Part One

The odds were always stacked against Julissa Arce in America. She didn’t speak English. She was apart from her family for most of her life. She couldn’t apply for financial aid as a senior in high school ready for college. She was alone in the world with a giant secret—the unfortunate fact that she was undocumented. Yet despite every ...

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Meet Denise Hewett: Quintessential Millennial Disruptor

Imagine not yet being 30 and already having worked on the Sex in the City film, Ugly Betty, at MTV Networks, and wrangled a snazzy DJ career on the side. That was Denise Hewett in New York before she decided it was time to move to Los Angeles and unapologetically disrupt Hollywood. After a slew of incredible job experiences, Denise ...

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Meet Jovanka Ciares: Music Exec Turned Wellness Coach Extraordinaire

Be honest: wouldn’t you kill for a glamourous job in the music industry working with artists like Beyoncé and Jay-Z? That was Jovanka Ciares, a Puerto Rican music executive who loved her New York City lifestyle and its culture of opportunity. Jovanka hustled and thrived, even though her job came with stress, given long hours and constant dealings with such ...

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Meet Julissa Arce: Financial Executive & Author Who Started Out Undocumented

The odds were always stacked against Julissa Arce in America. She didn’t speak English. She was apart from her family for most of her life. She couldn’t apply for financial aid as a senior in high school ready for college. She was alone in the world with a giant secret—the unfortunate fact that she was undocumented. Yet despite every obstacle, ...

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Julissa Arce: From Undocumented to Self Made, Part Three

The odds were always stacked against Julissa Arce in America. She didn’t speak English. She was apart from her family for most of her life. She couldn’t apply for financial aid as a senior in high school ready for college. She was alone in the world with a giant secret—the unfortunate fact that she was undocumented. Yet despite every obstacle, ...

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Meet Lina Chen: Gaming Creator who Went from Mailroom Clerk to CEO

Lina Chen has a three-letter personal mantra—FUN!—which also informs her professional life. Born in China and raised in South Africa, Lina attended Yale, where together with her best friend, they realized there was a void when it came to content for young girls—specifically in the world of gaming. After graduation the two moved to Los Angeles, hoping to explore “the ...

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Meet Theary Sim: Cambodian Plus-Size Fashion Designer

It is said that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree—but in the case of Theary Sim it fell into a whole other orchard. Theary always dreamt of being a fashion designer, a mission that negated her family’s expectations of success. As Cambodian immigrants, they sacrificed everything so that she could get ahead, which to them meant she should be ...

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