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Inspiring Stories from Coral Gables

The heart of our mission at VoyageMIA 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 Miami’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 Boca Raton rising stars below.

Kristen Diaz

I was born and partially raised in upstate New York in the architecturally stunning city of Albany before moving down to Tampa, Florida. Studious with extracurriculars to boot, I harnessed my talents at Loyola University New Orleans, receiving a B.A. in Mass Communications and Marketing. Parting with the big easy after graduation, I moved back to Tampa with dreams of climbing the corporate ladder, running a marketing department, and moving to a new location. Read more>>

Mendiana Merilus

I was born in Haiti but raised in Hispaniola. I emphasize Hispaniola because I grew up in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. I am a Foodblogger, an Aesthete, a Small business owner and a Future attorney of the Law. The earliest memory of me finding pleasure in appealing spaces, pictures and objects roots back to my childhood, where I could take any object and turn it into the decor, I also had the influence of my father who I grew up with that I consider a connoisseur of art, literature and more. Read more>>

Daren Goldin

I was always interested in technical things and problem-solving. So, for my undergraduate studies, I studied Civil Engineering at the University of South Florida. There, I learned about the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and their system for certifying buildings as green. I always knew that I wanted to get involved in transforming how our buildings are built and used. Read more>>

Nathalie Vazquez

I never had an athletic muscle in my body. Then I went to cheer on my sister at her first multi-sport, a triathlon. Once I saw all skill levels and walks of life participating in the event, I told myself I should be able to do this. Alongside my husband, we signed up for our first triathlon and started training. When I took part in my first tri, I was so psyched! My husband had to remind me in the transition area that we were currently in a race. Read more>>

Danny Villanueva

Born and raised in Miami, I attended secondary school at Christopher Columbus High School. I then went on to study at the University of Florida, where I graduated in 2019 with a sports media degree. After finishing my time in Gainesville, Florida, I returned to Miami to begin working for Corey Advertising. Read more>>

Stephanie Roble

Steph grew up in Wisconsin sailing scows and dinghies on Lake Beulah starting at age five. She fell in love with sailing and competing while in the Optimist class. After a successful junior sailing career, Steph attended Old Dominion University, where she received two All-American sailing honors, was the team captain and earned a degree in Finance. She was one of the few women competing as a skipper in the open division. Read more>>

Joanne Camille Ongsitco

I immigrated to Miami, FL, when I was 15 from the Philippines. To say it was a difficult transition would be an understatement. At that age, I wasn’t really particularly sure what I wanted to do with my life, except be a doctor as I thought was expected of me. Fast forward to my undergraduate career, I was between my second and third year of college, figuring out that the pre-med track just wasn’t for me. Read more>>

Ashley De Grandy

I was a kid when I would stay up late with my father watching “Night of the Living Dead” by George A. Romero. It traumatized me and even gave me night terrors, but I enjoyed that feeling. It felt better than riding on a rollercoaster. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker. I begged my parents to buy me a camcorder for Christmas. I started filming my cousins, my grandmothers, even my dogs. The memory is a bit fuzzy, but I somehow learned to cut up the videos on the camcorder itself using the television. Read more>>

Jordi Polycarpe

I’m from a little town in Queens, NY called Rosedale, and I’ve lived there my entire life before I came to Miami for college in 2018. I’ve been writing music since I was eight years old. Most people think I’m exaggerating when I say that, or that I probably was just writing dumb little things, but picture me, a 3rd grader in Catholic school, writing songs that sounded like Paramore (and that’s O.G. red-haired Hayley Williams, not pink-hair-and-bangs Hayley for those who know). Read more>>

Lebsinay Carmenate

I’m Lebsy! I am a 26-year-old mother of two girls Bellarie and Gianna, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a sister, and a woman with big dreams and goals just like you! A year and a half ago, I found myself working a full-time job, finishing OT school, and doing my internship at a hospital working 40+ hours a week, all while being a mom of a two-year-old at the time, keeping a house, a relationship, and somewhat a social life. Read more>>

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