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Inspiring Stories from the South Side

The heart of our mission at VoyageChicago 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 Chicago’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 the South Side’s rising stars below.

Louis Wimbley

I was born and raised on the west side of Chicago. My family was rooted in church, so faith, hope and love were always apart of my upbringing. My grandfather started a church when I was about 9 and I started serving there. I started as the church drummer. Soon, my little brother and young Aunty began to play. Read more>>


I started playing drums in church when I was 5 which is uncommon for a little girl. I later moved on to piano at 10 and then attended a performing arts school for middle school and high school. I strayed away from playing for church and put most of my focus into learning classical music. Read more>>

Genesis Emery

I started The Little Dapper Collection because I wanted to help fill the void in the fashion industry by creating handcrafted bow ties for babies, toddlers and boys. However, after I unexpectedly gave birth to a son with special needs, I knew that I had to use the bow ties to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs and unique medical challenges through bow ties and philanthropy. Read more>>

Lamekia Davis

As a little girl I was always analytical and had a strong liking to math.
While in college, I received my first banking job as a teller and worked my way up in the financial banking institution. After almost 20 years I decided to quit my 9-5 with one of the largest financial institutions in the world. Read more>>

Lawrence Agyei

During my last year of high school, I needed an art credit to graduate, when I moved from Italy to Chicago, my Italian high school didn’t send all my credits, so I needed re-take all the art classes here in the states. I wanted to take a painting class because I loved drawing and colors, but unfortunately, the class was full. Read more>>

Jeronimo Speaks

I was an hip hop artist who was passionately grinding this art form while on the side writing spoken word in my leisure. One day i went to try out for an competition and i noticed there there were a lot of singers and hip hop artist competing so i decided to spoken word and i wowed the crowd and the judges. Read more>>

Adam C. Cooper

I became interested in growing many years ago as a hobbyist and raising a home garden. It was also a helpful mental deterrent as I slowly came to terms with the end of my former career that I was falling out of love with. Read more>>

Danielle Truckenmiller

I started my creative journey in high school. With both photography and design, I don’t think I knew what I was doing until I actually got some feedback on my work. But I would say that my beginning motivation was my own curiosity. Read more>>

Grayson Alexander

Well cliff note version, essentially my parents wouldn’t support me through college if I decided to declare as a fine arts major. Subsequently, I decided to go to school for business and obtained my MBA in 2009. Read more>>

Elijah LeFlore

Well, I have always been involved in music and had a strong love for it. Younger me was a violinist for about six years and then I played the trumpet for a few years. It wasn’t until high school that I started rapping and writing music. That was around 2010, my classmates, including several other members in NuWorld would always freestyle in class or spit to each other our writtens over other beats. Read more>>

Nadia Simone

I started theNSider in 2016 while still working at ABC 7 News here in Chicago, During a time when there were so much negativity surrounding us: police brutality and senseless killings were on the rise resulting in riots all over the world, I was motivated to create something that could be a breath of fresh air for people to engage in. Read more>>

Dometi Pongo

I really began as early as six years old when my eldest sister helped me write my first forms of poetry – showing me the power of my words. But career-wise, I started as an intern at WVON 1690 AM, a legendary urban talk station on Chicago Southside. I cut my teeth there. Read more>>

Matt Scheffer

I started out taking photos when I started college. A lot of people in my market worked at a coffee shop at some point, and I’m no exception. At first, I was shooting images of shop interiors and products – something you’d see on your social feed and forget about pretty quickly. Read more>>

Kurt Kropp

My father sarted the company in 1975 in the steel erection business my family our ironworkers i graduated college in 1988 and we started leasing equipment when we werent using it from our steel erection business from 1988 with one location to 2008 we grew from $500,000 gross business with 30 units to 21,000,000 gross business with 1100 units and four locations we had a fall out it 2009. Read more>>

Stephanie Heil, Daniel Settlesc

I (Stephanie) happened to run into this man, Daniel at the gym. We were both struggling laborers and wanted more out of our lives. We teamed up in love and in business. And over the years we started out very small with little work and most of our profits went back into the business to buy materials and ladders and work vehicles. Read more>>

Sebastián Hidalgo

I’ve lived in Pilsen on Chicago’s southwest side all my life. The experiences living on 23rd street and the stories my mother shared about our indigenous family tree have taught me the rules of life, love and rage. In 2008, documentary photography became central to my life when I witnessed the passing of my grandfather in Agualeguas, Nuevo Leon, México. Read more>>

Myetie Hamilton

I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. The daughter of a teenage mother, and amazingly supportive grandparents, I grew up two miles away from Epic. I am multi-racial, my mom is African American and my father (who I did not meet until the age of 30) is Lebanese. Read more>>

Milton Taylor

Well, I’m a Chicago native that grew up in a single parent house hold. Though I have some-what of a relationship with my father now. Then, he was not present, his absence stirred the gift of writing. I began to vent and release through writing poems which soon would gradually move it’s way into music. Read more>>

Kelly Fair

I previously worked in corporate america as a junior executive creating great educational products for kids, but I was lacking the passion and wanted to do more direct services with children in the communities I grew up in. The experience I had with my own mentors taught me how to work with girls and women, how to work in our community, and how to get volunteers involved. Read more>>

1 Comment

  1. Grant Niebergall

    August 6, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    I had an opportunity to browse some of the interviews. I am very excited to have been chosen for one of the future interviews as well !
    I think it’s absolutely fabulous that a magazine of your caliber has done as well as it has only because the non-corporate companies are the ones who have the true stories that are not hidden by corporate rules. At the end of the day it’s about struggle and survival compassion and success and I tip my hat to every business owner out there and every genre of work! 1 Fine Tune is excited to bring the music industry together on stages as well as in the communities of Chicago in the nation !

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