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South Broward’s Rising Stars

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 South Florida’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 South Broward below.

AJ Donaldson

Cofounder, Executive Director & STEM Program Director Raised in Miami by a single mother, AJ often leaned on mentors throughout his childhood to help guide him and fill the void left by an absent father. The positive encouragement and guidance from his own mentors sparked a desire to provide the same for students in the community. After years of success, his passion for helping those in need culminated into the establishment of The EPIC Foundation (2014). EPIC as an acronym stands for Experienced Professionals Impacting Communities. This developing 501(c)(3) public charity is actively organizing the efforts of many corporations, major contributors as well as private donors and volunteers in pursuit of abolishing systemic racism by investing into the lives of a diverse group of disadvantaged youth from low-to-moderate income homes who cannot afford the educational supplement necessary to be successful in today’s evolving system. Read more>>

Valentina Bilbao

I was born in Caracas, Venezuela and began painting and developing my artistic skills at a young age. I imagine that I never chose my profession as a child. I had already chosen art. It was a piece of me that came from the inside. I never acquired it. Without noticing, I was continually painting, writing, drawing. It wasn’t that I became an artist but that I was still one because I spent most of my time doing those activities, or dancing and skating. For me, music was always something essential. It was what connected me or a channel that allowed me to express myself. My passion inspired me to open Pinceladas, a painting studio for children, at the age of 15. I decided to study ceramic and 3D art while continuing my academic endeavors in Child Psychology. I went on to study at the University of Artes Plásticas Arturo Michelena and haven’t stopped my education since. I most recently took courses from Yale and MOMA. I continue my studies in psychology to understand the depths of human conduct and emotions, which are a large component of my work. Read more>>

Judith Cabrera

I am Judith Cabrera, I am Cuban and my family and I immigrated to US 2005. However, since I was a little girl back in Cuba, I loved sewing, drawing and making clothes. You can say that innovation and creativity come from scarcity. After several years pass here in Miami, I became a mom and stop doing everything else I didn’t like and started pursuing a career in Fashion Design at the Miami International University of Art and Design. From that moment on, my life and my career took flight. After interning, working, and participating in every competition, my school had connected me with every door that has opened for me in the fashion Industry. One job, open the door for another and like this, I ended up working with renown artist and stylist, and with my work published in magazines. I keep dreaming, creating and meeting talented individuals who open new exciting projects for the future with Judith Cabrera. Read more>>

Latoya Shelby

I make up 1/2 of Alter Ego and I work alongside my business partner/very soon-to-be husband, Xavier Simon. We named the business Alter Ego because, before going into the salon, we aren’t always looking our best version of ourselves. By the time you leave, you feel like a whole new person, not just your regular self. You step into your alter ego. Read more>>

Dameka Davis

I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was also known as “Black Wallstreet.” My mother was a teenage mom of four children. I will always be grateful for my family, who was there with me every step of the way. My family has and will always be the inspiration in everything that I do. While I was young, my mother was ultimately convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to prison during the notorious “war on drugs era.” My sisters and I were separated at a young age and, thankfully, only temporarily. After graduating from high school, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to pursue my bachelor’s degree in economics. From inception, I loved to learn about economic development and I always had a strong desire to help the less fortunate obtain economic mobility. During college, I was the victim of a crime and after this happened, I knew I had a different calling. I went to law school in Michigan and was fortunate enough to be involved with the Innocence Project, to which I credit with exposing me to many of the injustices of the legal system. Read more>>

Jeremy Lewis

I grew up loving cars. I remember driving home from school and seeing car washes, thinking one day I would own my own. The path to owning the Slippery Soap started a bit differently, though. I was always athletic and growing up, you were expected to use your athleticism to be the tool that made you successful. I’m blessed to say that I earned an athletic scholarship to play football at the University of Miami. After graduating, I spent four years in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and enjoyed a pretty decent career. During my 3rd season in Canada, I got injured in a game and was out for a full season. That’s when it hit me. Each time I suited up and went onto the field, I risked getting hurt. If you know anything about sports, you know that teams are run like a business. Players are cut and replaced constantly and your success is ultimately decided by a coaching staff that has one goal in mind – winning. I had already spent three seasons away from my family and I knew I needed to come up with a way to obtain consistent income while providing for my growing family. Read more>>

Lashae Sherrell

I am a 29-year-old with big dreams. As cliche as it may sound, being confined to a standard 9-5 was never the plan for me. I always knew I wanted more but never knew exactly what my “thing” was. Like most of us, after graduating high school, everyone’s asking, “so what’s next?” And being a track athlete, the automatic idea was me going off to college and being on someone’s track team. But nope, I was too busy being an athlete and not so much a student. As time past me by, relocating, starting a family etc. I decided it was time for me to find and do something that actually make me happy. So with my passion for fitness and style, I decided to put my best foot forward and launch my fitness line Sportee Collection. Read more>>

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