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Garland’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyageDallas 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 Dallas-Fort Worth 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 rising stars from Garland and surrounding areas below.

Sergio Ruiz

I started drawing ever since I could hold a crayon. I began to improve my techniques in middle school and throughout high school. My mom has always been very supportive in my path of creativity. I remember when I was in middle school, she started buying me anatomy books, drawing books, portrait technique books and other items to help hone my skill. I have tried many forms of art mediums, I even had a few art galleries and showcases after high school to gain exposure. One of my first jobs was Anchor Blue at Town East Mall, I was broke at the time and couldn’t afford supplies. I figured out that instead of buying canvases, I would take the old window advertisements and cut them up and staple them over frames that I put together and made my own. I saved so much money doing that and was able to reuse something that was just being thrown away. I continue to experiment, learn and improve on all types of art. Read more>>

CeCe Godbolt

Anointed, powerful, hard-working and persistent are not always adjectives that can be used to describe the same person. However, for CeCe Godbolt, those adjectives are just some of the words one can use to describe this dynamic woman and servant of God. Psalmist, songwriter and actress are the roles she plays in order to shine her light and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. While she is consistently focused on working for the Kingdom, she is also a woman with a huge heart who loves God and people. I am a native of in Camden, Arkansas. My parents are the late Robert Godbolt and Marilyn Godbolt. I attended Zion Hill Baptist Church, where I sung in the sunbeam choir and junior choir. Graduate of NLU, Northeast Louisiana University of Monroe, Louisiana. I am married to Dalton Domingue, Jr., of 18 years. I came from a musical family; my father was a singer. Read more>>

Joy Massenburge

Raised a pastor’s kid, I took it hard when I witnessed my father kiss the other woman. With shattered beliefs, I made “good girls finish last,” my mantra. Years later, I married a man I did not love. In July, it will be twenty-eight years. My heart healed and I learned valuable relationship wisdom. In 2015, I used the principles I’d learned from my marriage in my Christian Romance stories. I Indi-published my first book in 2018. In 2019, my second book is traditionally published with Lighthouse of the Carolinas’ African American Christian Fiction imprint, Harambee Press. I was their first author. Read more>>

Ivan Mijangos

It started in high school, back in 2002. I was a sophomore coming from Los Angeles, CA to Garland, TX. I met a kid through my younger brother, who I had found out was a Dj. We became friends real quick and started hanging out at his place, where he would show me his set up. From time to time, I would go to his house and fool around. Read more>>

Stu Becker

My parents instilled an interest in social justice and politics within me. I instinctively loved justice early on and I wanted to be a fighter for justice. In high school, I read the Autobiography of Malcolm X. This book and learning about Malcolm X and listening to him inspired me to want to be an activist. Also, I saw racial inequality in the world. I wanted to help end systemic racism. In college, I majored in sociology and this helped me begin to explain the world and understand class and racial inequality. I was introduced to the ideas of Marxism. I also began to study the history, theories, and worldview of the Black Panther Party. I wanted to learn as much as I could so I could be the best fighter for justice and a fighter for the people as I could be. I got involved in activism on campus. Read more>>

Jared Thomas

I’m originally from East Texas from a town called Tenaha. It has a population of 1100 people and the shortest highway in Texas. I graduated in a class of 17 students. Although resources was limited and exposure to mainstream fashion was non-existent. Early on I developed a love for fashion and with a market so small and uninfluenced. I became comfortable early on with setting trends I would see from music videos and different magazines (Jet). So planning my infiltration in the fashion industry started with Empire Brims in 2011. Where I sold galaxy and other unique SnapBack hats, this went on for a better part of a year until I transitioned into transportation in 2014, which is what I have been doing up until about two years ago. Read more>>

Michel’le Payne

People always call me a “Drama Queen” because when I throw an event, I always do it “BIG” and go to the extreme. This has been something that I have done for many years. Once the “RONA” hit the city, I was extremely BORED OUT MY MIND and I just kept telling everyone, “I am so bored, I am so bored,” and I would say this all day every day after leaving my corporate America job. I just started thinking that since I love to go all out for events that I throw or plan, why not turn it into a “Black Owned Business”. Read more>>

Zekeitha Smith

It all started about a year ago… The name La Boite Noire (The Black Box) came to me in a dream. I wanted to have a name that would stand out from the rest and something that I could relate to. In my opinion, La Boite Noire reflects the struggles, trials, and tribulations black entrepreneurial women face when trying to establish a black-owned business. So many talented skills trapped in a black box. With so many issues that arise due to financial startup cost, marketing, a strong support system, and many other obstacles that may come our way, which is why I decided to bring my vision to light. Read more>>

Rita Louise

Growing up, we were required to read a book every other week. I found myself drawn to non-fiction title and by the time I was in 7th grade, I had worked my way through the entire archeology/anthropology section at my local library. It was around that time that I had learned about the concept of ESP – extrasensory perception. I was enamored decided early on that I wanted to learn how to tap into this unknown force. Thus, I began a search into topics such as astrology, tarot, personal development, guided imagery and metaphysics. I thought that by digesting all of this information that the byproduct of my search would cause me to have psychic abilities. After years of study, this never happened. It was many years later, that I found the Berkeley Psychic Institute and studied with them. Read more>>

Melanie Cobb

Empower 7 is a personal story, a journey of discovering that I am called to serve a greater purpose. I grew up in a Christian home with loving parents who would move the moon for me. In 1991, I married the love of my life, and in 2006, we were blessed with a son. Life was good. Then, in an instant, it was not. My mom was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I was completely crushed. She was my best friend and a loving grandmother to my young son. The very thought of losing her saddened me more than words could ever express. I felt powerless and abandoned at every turn – at her diagnosis, her long battle, her death, and for years following in my grieving. Read more>>

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