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Chandler’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyagePhoenix 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 Greater Phoenix area’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 Chandler and surrounding areas below.

Candace Schacherbauer

I graduated from The National Esthetics Institute of Scottsdale in 2004. At the time, I did not realize this would be my life path and that I would love my career so much. I actually talked my mom into attending Esthetics school with me which made it fun to have a close study partner. We threw around the idea of opening up a spa or two but I ended up going to work for a renowned Plastic Surgeon in the Ahwatukee area right after graduating. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the most talented plastic surgeons. It’s funny to think I’m back in Ahwatukee with the same doctor I started with right out of school! Read more>>

Deepa Iyer

My story begins in Mumbai where I lived for the first 22 years of my life. I graduated with a Degree from a premier social work institution in Mumbai called Tata Institute of Social Work. It’s one of the few degrees that was recognized here so I could find a job as a counselor after I got my green card. My husband, Bala was working as a mechanical engineer for Intel and we started our life together in Ahwatukee. After spending a few years raising my two boys, I decided to change careers and embarked on my journey to become a teacher. After completing my elementary certification, I started my teaching career as a 4th Grade teacher with the Chandler Unified School District in 2007 and quickly realized that I have a real passion for science. Read more>>

Athen Fisher

From a young age, I had a dream of helping others, was fascinated by mental health and wanted to learn more about relationship and family dynamics. I studied Psychology at Point Loma Nazarene University and then Arizona State University, then went on to complete my Master’s of Advanced Studies in Marriage and Family Therapy at ASU. During my undergrad, I had a research fellowship at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Mesa, AZ, and provided testing to Air Force cadets related to UAV flight training and human factors dynamics. I also helped with the home for orphaned children in Hermosillo, Mexico that my grandmother founded. After graduate school, I worked for 6 years in community mental health, providing in-home and in-office therapy/counseling and group therapy to children, adults and families across Pinal and Maricopa county. Read more>>

Priya Kalra

Born in India, raised in Zambia-Africa, graduated from London-UK, and now settled in sunny Arizona-USA. I am very grateful to have lived, shared, and embraced different cultures in my life thus far. I have been married 15 years now and am a proud mum of two girls. Being an entrepreneur for most of my life, I was able to juggle my businesses back in Zambia as well as here in Arizona. Being a small business owner in our awesome community of Chandler, taught me a lot and I was very fortunate to have met so many amazing people in this lovely community. The business was great until life threw a curveball at me called Cancer. I have always lived by the mantra, “Everything happens for a reason!”. Read more>>

Infinity Keri

My name is Infinity but I am also known as Yonni The Artist. I’m a 25-year-old African American female. My father is from Nigeria, my mother from New York. I was born in Miami, but moved around a lot throughout my adolescent years. I’ve been with my best friend for five years and engaged for almost two years. We have two beautiful younger children named Syncier and Josiah. I have five brothers and I am the only girl. They are all my best friends even if we don’t always see eye to eye. They are some of my biggest supporters and have helped me get to where I am now. Growing up was tough for me. I dealt with a lot of fear, confusion and resentment. That later trickled into my early 20s. After having my daughter and leaving my first toxic relationship, I found one of my best outlets which was art. I’ve been creating art all my life. Read more>>

Michael Moody

I have always been full of opinions (some that are in line with most and others that are from a different perspective and not as popular). I was approached about doing a podcast about 4 years ago and had about 4 episodes with a cohost. It was difficult from a time perspective matching schedules to record and edit audio so it kind of fizzled out however, we did have a good response to our short lived podcast. I tried another podcast with a cohost and the same problems persisted and I see I was not able to get my points across clearly so after about 6 episodes we called that one quits also. I then decided that I would do a one man show and the “Expert on Everything” was born. This gave me the flexibility to record and edit at my leisure and speak on topics that I wanted to speak on and also allowed me to get my thoughts out completely. Read more>>

Mike Eldred

We love the culture, history, and mostly… FOOD. I grew up in a home that had strong culinary influences, mostly from the South. My Grandmother and my Mother were both from Texas, and as a result, we ate very southern-style meals. But, instead of just being on the receiving end of the cooking experience, I decided VERY early on that I wanted (or needed) to learn how to create some of this food. Read more>>

Chelsey Richardson

Owning a business has always been a dream of mine; however, I never knew exactly what I wanted to do. Or, the better answer is I never knew what I wanted to do because I was always told what I “should” do. Coming from a small town in South Carolina, going to college, getting a job, and working for 40-50 years, was the norm. I never saw a business owner that looked like me, so it was easy to believe that I would never have a business to call my own. Read more>>

Michael McKelvy

I was that annoying kid, the one always asking why? Curiosity drove me throughout school and my career. I often brought my sons to the lab to have fun exploring science, but what about all the kids that couldn’t come? I co-founded Science is Fun to bring the fun and excitement of scientific discovery to as many students, especially underrepresented students, as we could. The diverse, older-student, STEM role models that present Science is Fun illustrate everyone can be a scientist. Read more>>

Nashe Machiri

Machgang is a 20-year-old upcoming sensation all the way from Chandler, Arizona. Although fairly new to the industry with only one release, he acquired 100k streams and his new single “Bands,” which is set to debut at the end of November. Not only is this young artist, an amazing musician, but he’s also well-rounded and diverse when it comes to being a jack of all trades! That’s right. This triple threat is also in school studying Electrical Engineering. Read more>>

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