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Inspiring Stories from Fenway, Symphony & Jamaica Plain

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 the rising stars from Fenway, Symphony, Jamaica Plain and surrounding areas below.

Jesús Gerena

When the job description to launch the Family Independence Initiative (FII) Boston site came across my desk in 2010, I was happy in my job working with youth in Boston. But I had a sense that the work I was doing had a ceiling of impact and I didn’t know why. I sensed it was because the service we were delivering to young people was at an astronomical cost, and when I looked at my organizational budget that year, I had a panic of conscience. Read more>>

Lucy Boogaerts

I can’t remember not being interested in fashion and making clothing. I was always creating as a kid, dozens of pillows with my first sewing machine, Barbie’s clothing, I made strappy red velvet sandals with cardboard and a stapler. I remember getting a stain on my favorite tee shirt with a rhinestone hello kitty graphic on it, so I sewed them into underwear and put hello kitty on the butt. Read more>>

Ilona Kudina

Ilona is a strong leader, as well as a generous and skilled collaborator. She has been an advocate for music for flute by Latvian composers and has always performed music for flute by her native country’s composers in her flute solo recitals. Ilona’s first 2-set CD “On the Bridge” (2006) is a compilation of chamber music for flute by world-renowned Latvian composers. Read more>>

Jireh Calo

I’m a Filipina artist-educator born and raised in Manila, Philippines. I am mostly known as a singer-pianist, composer, arranger and improviser.  Aside from making music, I am passionate about music education, being deeply involved with my community, and using the arts to connect and uplift people. Read more>>

Amy Busch and Emily Solomon

The opiate epidemic has hit Boston hard and for a long time, I wanted to start a foundation to help in some way. We were losing so many of our friends and felt helpless. After I lost my cousin, I knew I had to put this plan into action. A friend of ours, Stevie, was struggling and needed to go to treatment but had no funds. I started a GoFundMe and raised some money quickly. Dennis Messing’s wife, Kim, had raised some money in memory of him from a golf tournament and had some left over. We combined the amounts and were able to send Stevie to a 12 step treatment center. Read more>>

Austen Shumway

Since I was a young child, all I have ever wanted to do was create – I think I made my first fashion collection while I was in fourth grade. I always really enjoyed activating my hands and thinking about myself as a physical out-of-body object. While creative, I didn’t begin understanding the real potential and compulsion that existed in my hands, not until I really began struggling a lot with mental health issues during middle and high school. I was raised Mormon, and everything about my body and mind resisted what I had learned and understood until then. I never had really developed a fully free and actualized version of self before being able to sit down with myself and evaluate through making — it quickly became the only practice that fulfilled more of a hunger than that for self-destruction. Read more>>

Jepherson Castillo

I started taking pictures for fun with friends in middle school. It was a lot of fun just going out with them and coming out with cool outfits to capture on my iPhone 4. Later on, around the 8th grade, I was hungry to do more around the field of photography. I never really liked capturing the city if you want me to be honest, I always loved exploring as a kid with friends and capturing them in front of amazing views. But I really fell in love with concert photography the most thought. I was about 14 years old when I sneaked in my first show and it was Post Malone. Read more>>

Edwin Peralta Jr.

I started drawing when I was very young. I used to compete with my older brother all the time. As much as I used to draw, I never knew where to take it. Only that I wanted to improve. At least until one morning, I walked to the kitchen and I saw my brother drawing. I said nothing but looked intently at what he was drawing. That morning, he made a comic and my mind blew with the possible stories that I could make. I always liked telling fake stories to my brother from popular shows or comics we read. However, it never occurred to me to be the one to make my own. Read more>>

Emily Marvosh

My immediate family isn’t particularly musical or artistic, but they value musical education within and as a supplement to school curriculum (i.e. piano lessons starting age five!). Since I have become a professional musician, my parents have ventured far further into the world and experiences of classical music than they probably ever thought they would have, and I’m grateful for their continued curiosity, encouragement, and support. Their engagement with the local Mid-Michigan performing ensembles stems directly from their experience as parents of performers, and that is one of the less visible fringe benefits of music education. Read more>>

Maddie Sweet

I am an Illustrator and Surface Pattern Designer. I am currently in my senior year at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. I love anything pink and I find most of my inspiration through flowers as well as children’s books, I love hearing stories and being a storyteller through my illustrations. I have loved art from a young age. I was raised by artistic parents who took my siblings and me to many museums and encouraged us to love art in all forms, past, and present. Growing up with this appreciation and love of art has helped me become the person/artist I am today. Read more>>

Rob Lew

I always had a passion and a drive to make a difference. To be able to share and express my thoughts and ideas through creativity was the dream. At a young age, I was figuring out exactly what I wanted to do and I found I would always involve myself with entrepreneurship. That led to not only learning a lot about how to create and run a business but also learning a lot about myself. Growing up in the environment that I did, the term “making it out” is what we all strived to do. Being able to see another year of life is something we never took for granted because we saw so many lives that were cut short. Read more>>

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