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Inspiring Stories from Cambridge & Somerville

The heart of our mission at the BostonVoyager 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 Boston’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 Cambridge’s rising stars below.

Valerie Vest

I was a parent at a very young age, just shy of my 18th birthday. At the time I realized very quickly that I needed to be independent and provide for my little family. I did not want to be another statistic and quickly felt the judgment of most of my family and friends hovering over me in such a heavy way. Read more>>

Karen Arena and Tracey Hanley

In September 1981 I opened my school two months before having my third child. When I first started, I had five children enrolled and had one teacher working with me. Through the 80s and 90s my business grew by word of mouth, and before I knew it, I had 20 children enrolled and more staff members. Read more>>

Salman Habib

Years ago, among chaotic roads and raggedy streets, I would play cricket with my fellow classmates right after we would get done with school. The scene, precisely, would be as follow: Street vendors waiting for customers, kids running around barefoot, and rickshaws that sound like jackhammers adding to the droning hum of traffic. Read more>>

Collins S. Farhat

I graduated from La Salle University in Philadelphia and joined the healthcare world traveling North America implementing medical software in emergency rooms for two years. Later working for some of Boston’s brightest healthcare companies such as Partners, Tufts Health Plan, and Dana-Farber. Read more>>

Hadrien Dimier

I moved from Geneva, Switzerland to Savannah, GA to study Fine Arts and while getting my BFA, I had the opportunity to work for an amazing studio that introduced me to the craft (and business !) of wedding photography. Read more>>

Ilyana Sawka

I moved to Boston in 2008, shortly after graduating from college. It was a completely fresh start for me in a new and unfamiliar city. I had been involved with both Hellenic studies and music in college, so I wanted to find an activity to pursue in Boston that combined those two interests. Read more>>

Mike Coleman

I started out drawing and driven by art in middle school where a mentor of mine introduced me to street art and graffiti artwork. I designed my first tattoo for a teacher of mine by eighth grade, and this is where the seed was really planted for my interest in tattoos as a whole. Read more>>

Jon Feinman

The inspiration for InnerCity Weightlifting came from an opportunity I had during a year of Americorps in 2005. I was able to meet young people who were deeply involved in street violence and gangs. While I was told by others that they were too dangerous, to stay away, that they didn’t care and weren’t going to change, I saw a very different picture. Read more>>

Amy Merrill

I’ve been writing plays for a long time. I’m also a connector. I like to bring people together. Prior to focus on playwriting, I have been a community organizer and a nurse. As a nurse, I worked in hospital and health centers all over Boston. My last job was at the East Boston Community Health Center. Read more>>

Chris Brokaw

I grew up just outside of New York City, in Scarsdale NY, and started playing guitar when I was 12 and drums when I was 13. I became deeply invested in both rock and punk rock music. As both a player and listener I later got into country, classical, folk, blues, metal, and experimental music, but rock and punk rock were always my foundations. Read more>>

Griffin Ersick

When I was younger, I was always curious, and I still am today. I wanted to know how things worked the way they did. I thought I was going to be an inventor when I grew up. With that need to create things was probably the first sign that I was going to become an Artist. As I grew up, I began to draw to express thoughts that I didn’t verbally know how to express. Read more>>

Tom Bianchi

I’ve been performing and hosting music in town for more than 20 years. I started out hosting an open mic, performing and booking music in a small coffee shop in Allston about 1997. Since then I’ve played just about every venue in town, been a registered street performer at Faneuil Hall/Quincey Market, toured the country and started up about 2 dozen open mic shows and singer-songwriter series type events (some of them were even pretty good!).  Read more>>

G- Eyez

After years of independently wading through the hip-hop industry’s trenches, G-Eyez (an abbreviation of “Golden Eyez”) is experiencing the proliferation of his star power as a recording artist. His two-fisted vocal style, street life-oriented content, and personally reflective lyricism is a product of his diverse upbringing as a Cambridge, Massachusetts-born and Houston, Texas-reared MC. Read more>>

Amy Reebenacker

Photography is one of the stable things in my life that I have always been sure of. It started when I was a kid, always trying to use my parents Polaroid instant camera to take pictures of my sister and her friends. From high school, I geared my education in building a future that would allow me to do what I love. Read more>>

Ashley Jeffress

My journey started with a love of networking. Building relationships with people, bonding over shared experiences and developing empathy through hearing new perspectives are all true passions of mine. I know this may sound like some people’s actual nightmare, but what can I say, I’m a people person. Read more>>

Alex Kittle

Like many artists, I’d been doodling since I was a kid, and taught myself to draw figures by copying pages out of comic books and manga. I studied art history in college and minored in studio, where I tried painting and sculpture but really kept my attention on drawing in different media. Read more>>

Carolina Velasquez-Freeman

After decorating for birthdays and other events for ourselves, family and friends, we planned and decorated our entire wedding in 2014. With the high costs of events, especially weddings, we decided to start a family business where we could make events more affordable while working with peoples visions and dreams for all types of events. Read more>>

Mallory Nezam

When I was a kiddo I used to write and direct plays in the neighborhood, I set up a community school, drew blueprints for new cities and ran a small ‘corner store’ where I sold my artworks. An entrepreneurial, creative mindset has been in my DNA from the get-go. Read more>>

Anne Riesenfeld

Lorelei is a nine-voice chamber vocal ensemble founded in 2007 by Artistic Director Beth Willer, with a mission to expand the repertoire for women’s voices. In just ten years, we’ve built a roster of some of the most sought-after vocal ensemble artists in the country, commissioned more than 50 new works, and expanded our mission to reach beyond the repertoire to elevating the work of women’s voices. Read more>>

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