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Inspiring Stories from Southern Atlanta

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 Southern Atlanta’s rising stars below.

Selma Coty

In the mid 1990’s, I decided to convert a portion of my 1000 sq. ft. unfinished basement into an apartment. It consisted of approximately 620 sq. ft., and included one bedroom (with a twin bed), a bath, kitchen, and living/dining area. It had its own entrance, which was from the “back yard”. I did not do a lot of advertising, so it attracted mostly local individuals. After about 5 or so years, I decided to expand the space. I redecorated the interior and focused on improving the entrance. As the interior and exterior began to take on a new look, I realized that it had become a suite and that I could market it to a broader audience. Read more>>

Alan Ewing

I came to the US to coach soccer in 1998 in New Jersey for UK Elite Soccer. I had taken a break from my employment in the UK (Bar and Restaurant Management) to do this as my older brother did it and talked very highly of the experience. It was a fantastic experience and I realized that I wanted to live in the US and coach soccer. I had met an English coach who told me about a role of Director of Coaching that we do not have in the UK as soccer is set up very differently. In the UK, it is very hard to get a full-time soccer job unless you played professional soccer. I thought this would be ideal for me. He told me that to get a work visa, I would need to be ‘highly qualified’ to get a H-1B. Read more>>

Linda Walker

Before moving to Atlanta I lived in Miami and worked at a Miami Beach Resort. We had a jumping night club there with live entertainment every week. The very popular 60s group, Bill Pinkney’s Original Drifters often performed at the club and Bill and I became good friends. When I told him (1981) that I was moving to Atlanta, he told me to call him when I got settled in because the group had not performed in ATL for a long time and he would teach me how to help them find a gig (or 2). When I moved and got settled I called Bill. Read more>>

Coach Ralph Presley

I was born in 1953 and raised in Atlanta Georgia. I was raised by my mother after my father left when I was but 3 years old. I was the youngest of five children, 3 sisters and one brother. We were on government surplus food and assistance. Now commonly known as food stamps and Section 8. My mother, Ms Lucy, worked very hard to raise us in the Baptist church where we grew up in he projects of Carver Homes. She would leave for work at 5:30 am riding the bus for two hours and not returning until after dark. My brother would put me on that yellow bus to attend Wheat Street Baptist Church preschool. Read more>>

Donna Windham

Landmark was founded in 1989 by a group of Fayette County parents searching for a college preparatory education in a Christian environment. In our 28 years, we have grown to serve 800 students at two campuses: Fairburn K4-12 and Peachtree City K4-5, Our vision of every student prepared to impact the world for Jesus Christ has prepared students for success into the best colleges in the nation including Harvard, MIT, Emory. Dartmouth, Stanford, Cornell, Vanderbilt, Duke, Furman, Wake Forest, Baylor, Johns Hopkins, SCAD, Georgia Tech, University of Georgia and all of the service academies. The 2017 class of 75 graduates was offered 12.4 million dollars in academic, athletic, and fine arts scholarship offers not including the Hope Scholarship or GTEG. Read more>>

Jordan Steen

My passion for entrepreneurship began when I was a small child. I remember being in the shower when I was about 7 years old and combining shampoo and conditioner into one bottle and thinking I had invented the world’s newest creation to save time and effort for people taking showers. I got finished as quickly as I could so I could run and tell my parents about my creation but came to find that it already existed. This was the first time that I can recall trying to start a business or run with an idea and it definitely wouldn’t be the last. My entrepreneur journey continued when I was 11 years old in middle school. Read more>>

Billy Newman

I am a full-time fine art photographer. Most of my work is abstracts of nature, and most of my work is placed in homes, offices, hotels and private collections. It all started in an eight grade creative writing class. I was working on a research paper about the Chattahoochee river and decided to include some photographs. Armed with a Kodak Instamatic camera and embarrassingly chaperoned by my mother, I drifted down the river in a rented inflatable raft. That day, I snapped through a roll of film as the water pulled me along. When I got the prints back, I was awestruck. My hands held the same images that I had seen days earlier. Read more>>

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