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Midtown’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 Midtowns’s rising stars below.

Dee Clark

I’ve always had a family full of successful entrepreneurs, I just could never figure out how I fit in the equation. Although I would battle with these thoughts of wanting to know my purpose in life, tapping into my faith and obtaining my education was strictly enforced in our household, thanks to my parents Michael and Qwaima Clark. As a result, I would complete college early, earning an associate’s degree upon my high school graduation in 2017. Two years later, in the summer of 2019, I completed my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. In all honestly, I wasn’t accepted into any law school of my choice, which had me defeated but I was determined to not let this setback detour me. In the midst of a national pandemic, I finally focused my education and talents into what would become not one but TWO thriving businesses. With the help of my Dad, Michael Clark, we started our trucking company, formally known as Lil Mikes Transports. The term “Lil Mike” originates from my brother, the late Specialist Michael Sheldon Clark Jr., who’s passing in May of 2009 changed the course of my family. Read more>>

Ellen Li

In my senior year of college, I got the idea that I wanted to open up my own coffee shop. I really love the community and welcoming environment that coffeeshops foster, and I wanted to cultivate such a space as well. I started working as a barista at Peet’s Coffee. I had the best time managing morning rushes with my coworkers, practicing latte art after watching countless YouTube videos, and bantering with regular customers. After graduating, reality kicked in. Lacking any work experience or capital, I needed to get a job. I put my coffee idea on hold, got a consulting gig, and moved from California to Atlanta to start working. With weekly travel and fast-paced client engagements, there was little time to pursue personal interests until the advent of the pandemic. Suddenly, it felt like my life was put on pause. Almost all aspects of my life had become virtual. I missed people. With so much time on my hands, I started doing research just to see what it would take to open up a little coffee popup stand to start reconnecting with my community. I ended up reaching out to Jake, the owner of Irwin Street Community Kitchens. Read more>>

Deirdra Coleman

I have been cooking all of my life. I always enjoyed cooking from scratch, with fresh herbs, and trying new recipes with my granny and aunt. In 2013 while working in retail, I embarked on a lifestyle change journey, completely changing my diet and becoming more active and into fitness. I was young, yet my body felt so old and worn out. I was also losing family and friends due to health issues and I knew I needed to live a healthier life. From 2013-2016 I became more educated about health, food, nutrition, and fitness. I started was cooking more and more for myself, family, and friends and I was always so big of the taste and presentation of my food. My family and friends kept telling me that I needed to start a food service business and I kept rejecting the idea because I was a corporate America employee with no time to run a business, so I thought. In November 2017, I launched my food service business, DeeLightful Food Service, which catered to healthier eating options. I started out with five meal prep clients, helping with lifestyle changes and health issues pertaining to food, such as high blood pressure. Read more>> 

Oveigh McArthur

Food Mood originally started based on my personal strides to start a food blog. I was so nervous and scared to even make the first move. It took me two years to even get to this place. I would often post recipes on my personal Facebook page and would get so much support concerning the recipes that were posted. I would make a post and 200 people would like it or they would share it. I made a post one day asking if anyone would read my blog if I decided to make one. I received some really great feedback and that was pretty much the push that I needed. Some months later, I was sitting at my desk and just decided to make this Facebook group and call it Food Mood. I already had a pretty good following but definitely didn’t think it would grow this much. I really just wanted to create a safe space for people to share their dishes and have a supportive community. I wasn’t so much interested in my personal blog but more so the growth of the people inside the group. I wanted them to feel empowered and inspired by food. Read more>>

Dequan Starling

I was a college football star that got kicked out of my first school (Marshall University), transferred to another school (Benedict College) and finished playing football, only to go back to Marshall University and get my Bachelors Degree in Business! Before becoming a successful gym owner, I had to work odd jobs in order to find my passion and purpose. Read more>>

Adriann Wofford

My story is I was a statistic! Foster home for a little while, my dad gained custody of my siblings and I. High school dropout, teenage pregnancy, college dropout, always involved in drama, constantly fighting, and having to pay fines in court, abusive and unhealthy relationships, three kids and three baby daddies! My life was a MESS! I go through things daily that I never talk about. I battle being in a state of depression because of things that happened in the past. My kids are my why and my motivation to keep pushing! I knew that my kids deserved better than what I was giving them! I didn’t want my kids to inherit generational curses! It stopped with me! My oldest son is a great athlete, and I’ve always been his supporter game day! A couple of years ago, I missed his entire basketball season because of my job, I felt awful! I knew I didn’t want to live my life waiting on a job to tell me when I could spend time with my family! I wanted freedom! So I started my first small business, AMC Cleaning Services (AMC are the initials of my children) it felt good having a taste of freedom for the first time in years! With me being my own boss, I was able to go back to school and earn my associate’s degree back in May 2020. Read more>>

Katlyn Greene

I’ve always had a strong passion for education. I truly feel like educators are superheroes. We have the most difficult job but we know how to make the best of it: that’s the fun part. Katy’s Kids Traveling Tutoring Business is a mixture of my passion for education and entrepreneurship. When I first started tutoring, I’d limited myself to 6 kids ages 2-10. By the end of week two, I’d received inquiries from ages 2-45. From August to December, while being a full-time student, I tutored 11 students in four different subjects with improving scores. Sometimes, people are just waiting on someone to do “it” first, which brings me to entrepreneurship. Starting a tutoring business is unheard of where I’m from- not impossible, just unheard of. But, I had so many people coming to me with questions just like this: “How’d you start? What made you choose this industry? How can I start a successful, growing business during a pandemic?” My answer is always the same- just do it! I began with my Mac, which is the oldest in history, a Google Doc & a positive mindset as cliche as it sounds. I was grateful to be trusted and to have such an outstanding support system. My support is how I was able to keep going with little to no entrepreneurial experience. Read more>>

Roshell Hanse

I have always had a passion for Counseling, even before knowing about the profession. Since a child, I recognize that I’ve had the ability to communicate with people and develop meaningful connections leading to a passion for helping others in distress. After high school, I decided to attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University for my undergraduate degree, where I majored in Psychology and minored in Criminal Justice. At the time, I thought I wanted to be a Forensic Psychologist as I did not yet understand that my interest in investigative shows was more focused on trauma than forensics. After graduation, I attended Argosy University in 2012, where I obtained my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Securing my Master’s degree allowed me to work in many clinical settings such as domestic violence residential facilities, community-based agencies, psychiatric centers, the Department for Children and Families Services, and private practices. Read more>>

Shonte Baltes

Entrepreneurship was something I wanted but never knew was a career. After finishing under grad, I began working hard to become the next mover and shaker within the entertainment industry. I was passionate about public relations and figured I’d make a career of that. Well my plans didn’t go as I thought and I found myself working two jobs as a waitress and a freelance makeup artist. Working at Mac cosmetics allowed me to build clientele and create relationships within the beauty industry. What I didn’t realize, was that makeup would position me to become a business owner with a well know brand. BonMercy was not birthed on purpose. But it was the best unexpected journey I’d take all over again. I now have the opportunity to apply my skills helping others build their brands and build their personal confidence. Read more>>

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