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Mesa’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 Mesa and surrounding areas below.

Tremaine Robinson

At the age of 12 I decided that she wanted to do a surprise meal for my parents. I made an overdone steak, bland beets and some crunchy baby carrots. The next time was when I was 15 and my boyfriend was ill. I thought what better way to show my young love than to prepare him some homemade chicken noodle soup. This was no ordinary soup, the soup contained an array of vegetables, spices, homemade bone broth, and was made from scratch, no goop out of the can. Well, he broke up with me and declined the soup. I remember running up the stairs in this long dress and heels with the soup, tripped up the stairs, further embarrassing myself. When I finally made it to the top, I was met with warm embraces from her friends Angie and Myndi who was more than happy to eat the soup and complimented me on how well it tasted. Read more>>

Sue Schaffer

Being in the Emergency Medical profession for close to 40 years and operating multiple businesses, what I learned was to burn the candle at both ends, to push thru the anger, disappointment and grief of being a first responder, and to always keep moving forward. When I discovered Yoga about 15 years ago, my first thoughts were I wish I had known about this practice from the beginning. Learning how to manage anxiety and stress, memories and life changed my life. Reaching out to complementary and alternative medicine seemed a logical next step. Discovering that the Gold Canyon community would benefit from a place of refuge and mindfulness, a vision and a dream to provide that place was born. In May 2019, The Live it Well Place was established. Read more>>

Jennifer Vandegriff, LCSW

I graduated with my Bachelors in Social Work in 1998 and worked in the field for a couple of years before I took time off to raise my first child. Two kids later I decided to go back to school in 2008 to pursue my Masters in Social Work. I always knew I wanted to go back to work after my kids were in school and I thought a graduate degree would give me more flexibility. It took me five long years of (extremely) part time attendance but I graduated with my MSW in 2013. I thought I would work part time and continue to be there as much as I possibly could for my kids. But a move to a new home, painful divorce, and death of my mother changed everything. Just as I was starting out on my new career path, my husband and I separated after 17 years of marriage. Read more>>

Joey Bellus

I coach people with the intention of facilitating each individual’s innate ability to find enough stillness to listen to themselves, allowing their passion and purpose to come through. We work together to identify and address what is preventing them from taking control of their body, mind, and emotions, enabling them to become more balanced and build a healthier, stronger foundation in their lives. I believe in the power of forgiveness, love, and connection, and teach people how shame blocks us from experiencing all three of these. Read more>>

Kierra Butcher

My journey to motherhood came with more challenges than I expected. I ended up having five miscarriages in total while having my three daughters in between some of them. About a year after my fifth miscarriage, I realized that I still had a lot of trauma and pain that I was holding onto. I was encouraged to journal my feelings but when I sat down to write, I started to draw instead. And I found a lot of healing in using art as my outlet. Read more>>

Colin Becker

Catchy, driven, and relatable. A Step Ahead (Nicholas Johnson, Colin Becker, Mike Melton, Matt Seli, and Robb Robles) brings a distinctive blend of rock, pop, and alternative music with each track providing a unique impact on listeners, both musically and lyrically. Formed during the winter of 2008 in the suburbs of Phoenix, AZ, the band started with modest goals of just playing a few shows around town but have since released a handful of studio EP’s and stand-alone singles embarked on numerous tours spanning more than 50 cities across the United States. Read more>>

Sai Phi

When I was a kid like many others, I struggled in school. I wasn’t very popular, so with my spare time I decided I would write music. It kind of all started as a joke to be honest. When some other kids in school noticed my friend and I making music they decided they’d start making fun of us. We went back and forth for a while making songs and during the process, I noticed I was kind of good at it. After many years of practice, I started to make my own music and put it out for people to hear. Read more>>

Matt Miller

I started Teammelvin after my four years old English Bulldog Melvin passed away due to a heart attack. He got me through a lot of hard times in my life and I didn’t want his memory to fade away as he helped me more in those four years then I can ever imagine. I decided to create a charity in his name that would help save animals from the pound and being put to sleep and money to donate to animal shelters. Read more>>

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