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College Park’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyageATL 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 Atlanta’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 College Park’s rising stars below.

Jasmine McClendon

Growing up in a single-parent household, my mother instilled in me that there was nothing that I couldn’t do if I prayed about it, put the work behind it and put my mind to it. I expressed to my mother that I had a passion to models when I was 13 years old because I loved taking pictures of myself and they always came out so pretty. My mother took me to an agency. I had the height, but my weight from the waist down did not fit the runway figure. At that moment, I knew I had to find a different route for my passion. As a kid in Atlanta, I always loved going to the skating rinks. My favorite rinks growing up were Skate Towne, Cascade Family Skating, Sparkles and Golden Glide. They played all of my urban music with a good mix of R & B and gospel. I literally fell in love with the uniqueness of the different moves that I could do while skating, and that is where the idea was born. Allow me to further introduce myself as the first hottest roller skate model in the nation. Read more>>

Alexandria “Xanny” Mays

I have always had a passion for doing natural hair. A few years ago, I began doing faux Locs. From there, I found a passion for doing natural Locs and have been focusing on them ever since. Read more>>

AuJenay Easley

I’m AuJenay Easley. I’m 21 years old. I have a one-year-old baby boy named Justin L. McNeal. I received my high school diploma from Druid Hills High School. Then attended some college at Georgia State Perimeter. I had my first thought about making my own lip gloss approx three years ago when I noticed that there were very few moisturizing lip glosses. I then started doing research on how lip gloss is made. I watched a few other people make lip gloss. I even made a few glosses for myself just to test the moisture of the glosses. Back in November 2020, I ordered my first order to make my own lip gloss. Came January 2021. I told my son’s father my plan. He believed in me and immediately told me to go for it. You love lip gloss, but you’re picky you don’t like thick lip gloss. So ever since then, my plan has been to make a good moisturizing lip gloss. I continued my research and started my journey. I launched my business Sky Gloss by Naay April 7, 2021. My goal since the very beginning was to create the best. Read more>>

Shakeita Price

My journey started since realizing my skin was darker than my peers and my hair was shorter. I had self-esteem issues growing up because of my appearance. I recall mean comments from my peers and negative remarks about me from adults during my childhood years. Entering my teenage year, I was a lost young girl. I hung out in the streets and remembered living with different peers at the age of 15/16. My junior year of high school in 2009, I wanted to drop out and failed my English and Math classes. I had always been an “A” student, but when I became distracted, I lost focus. I ended up graduating as an honor student and relocated to another city where I attended college and obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. While in undergraduate college, I joined the military in 2011. I attended my military training during the summer while college was out. I joined the Army National Guard and continued to attend college full time. Read more>>

Mollie Balogun

It all began in February 2020, during the most trying time of my life. I had just given birth to my first child and lost my father a week later when covid started to spread in the West. I work remotely for an event security company back in London and they were shutting down shows, events and all of our regular venues. I wasn’t sure if I would have a job to go back to after my maternity leave. It was a very confusing, emotional and exhausting period for me and for many others around me. In March, I dusted off my sewing machine and grabbed some stacks of fabric I’d hoarded over the years and began making face masks to send out to my family and friends. We had been advised to wear masks, so I figured we could at least look cute whilst doing so. I followed an instructional video and YouTube and created beautiful African print face masks. It was a therapeutic escape for me. The sound of the sewing machine drowned out any noise in my head and the pretty patterns were almost hypnotic. Read more>>

Meredith Olivia

I have been fortunate to have dance play such an integral part of my life. I began dancing at the age of four and went on to study dance in college at The University of Alabama. Dance has provided me with so many opportunities to grow as a person and to meet so many amazing and talented people. I truly cannot imagine who I would be without it. Read more>>

Samantha Bailey

Although my professional background is in mental health, I have always liked to cook and experiment with food combinations at a very early age but never explored it. I have to honestly say that I fell in love with cooking and developed a passion for feeding/healing others through food after one of my most tragic experiences in life, the loss of my mother in 2016. I noticed how cooking brought me out of depression and through the grief. It also allowed me to tap into a level of creativity that strengthened my connection with God, enhancing my spirituality. More importantly, since I lost my mom to cancer as a result of unhealthy lifestyle, specifically diet and the effects of undiagnosed mental health issues, I aimed to recreate the dishes that we loved to eat in a healthier manner. As my natural gift developed, I was able to further cultivate my connection with the Creator, where I was then able to gain a clearer focus on what to do with God’s gift. Read more>>

Evelyn Orusa

I am a first-generation immigrant who grew up in a Nigerian household. For those in my situation, we know living this life definitely comes with its challenges and many benefits as well. Often I was torn between Nigerian and American culture and stumbled into what I would consider an identity crisis. As I grew, I got more in touch with myself and what my culture means to me. I became interested in modeling around age 13, mainly because many people would ask me if I modeled. The answer would always be no due to external forces swaying me away from that interest. As I ventured through high school, I dropped the idea of modeling in a faraway corner in my head. Finally, at the big age of 20, I decided to throw my hat in the ring with modeling. Most times, I’m pretty confident in myself, but modeling took it to a whole other level. I love being the center of attention for that brief moment when I’m shooting. It’s an indescribable feeling, and I appreciate my siblings and friends who supported this unexpected love of mine. Read more>>

Andrea Boone

I begin my journey in the beauty industry my sophomore year of high school around 2001. I was shampoo assistant while I was exploring the artistry and career options as a make-up artist. There is nothing in the world that compares to the culture of the black salon. This is a place where families gather, small businesses sale products, the evangelist pray, the music can go from old school, hip hop, gospel, or R&B. It’s a true gathering spot our communities. Before I feel in love with hair, I feel in love with the culture. I begin beauty school December 2003 immediately after graduating from high school May 2003. It was indeed the start of something special. Of course when I graduated I was a stylist that tried to perfect everything cause was the goal was to not turn any money away. I remember starting at my first salon and my boyfriend at the time came and helped me set up and pulled out his sidekick phone and took pictures of me in my booth in the corner. What’s funny is that in the black salon culture all the new stylist got to sit in the back. Is nothing nobody say sits just what it is lol. Read more>>

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