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Inspiring Stories from South Dallas

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 the rising stars of South Dallas and surrounding areas below.

Justin Haggerty

Before I moved to Austin, all of my artwork was being done using digital tools like illustrator and photoshop. And frankly, it wasn’t going anywhere other than some uneventful posts to Instagram. I had not yet even started to paint or create very much of anything that was physical and tangible. When I got to Austin and introduced myself into the local art scene, I immediately felt a drive to start transitioning my digital ideas to a painting output. This became, essentially, an obsession. I began to participate in live painting events and would create during my own time as well. Any opportunity to further progress my craft, I was taking it. And that story continues to today. Art is truly everything to me. I paint as often as I can, and it remains a (constructive) obsession. 🙂. Read more>>

Jay Johnson

Everything ultimately started for me in November of 2016 when I got my first internship that soon tuned into a job at Legacy Music Group in Dallas, TX. For two and half years, I learned pretty much everything Audio Engineering and Music Production. During that time, I worked with such acts like production duo Play N’ Skillz, Quinn XCII, Dorrough, and Tay Money, just to name a few. During that time, I made connections that helped me mold and define what my music career would turn out to be! Shortly after I decided to part ways with Legacy, I decided to go to Atlanta, GA, for a job at silent sound studios that ultimately fell through. But a few days after that, I was offered another internship at 11th Street Studios that lasted for six months. During that process, I implemented all of the things I had learned at Legacy up to that point and learned even more! Even though the position at 11th street wasn’t permanent, I had an unbelievable experience recording talented artists and meeting people that would still impact my life to this day. Read more>>

Stephanie Houston

My child was killed on 5/19/2019 and her death went viral. My child was Muhlaysia Booker, a beautiful transgender that was viciously attacked in April then was murdered a month one week later two separate incidents. Due to the worldwide coverage of love, support and hate. I started the Muhlaysia Booker Foundation in her memory and honor. The Foundation services transgender women and their families. Read more>>

Jared Scott

I’ve always played music. And it’s always been important, I guess. I guess in some sense, it’s always just made sense. I think the first instrument I picked up on my own was the violin. I loved it. I always excelled in school, and it really spoke to me. I loved sight-reading and just understanding melody. It just always made sense as a form of communicating. I think even to this day. The melody is one of the parts of a song I most gravitate to. Eventually, around 8th grade, I ended up with a guitar in my hands. And, I guess starting pretty much right then and there, I started writing. No one really told me to. I just couldn’t help it. Even with a large amount of discouragement I received at home when it came to music. It wasn’t actually until college, when I did an internship with a huge songwriting portion, that I found out I was actually good at it. Every week we had to present a song based on the subject they gave the week prior. Read more>>

Jeff Buckley

Jeff and Candace Buckley own and operate My Father’s Shop Certified Automotive Repair in Midlothian Texas. This is a true Mom & Pop Automotive Shop. They strive to provide good old fashion customer service when it comes to servicing your vehicle. It really is just Mom and Pop at the shop. Jeff is an ASE certified Master Technician. He has held many more certifications through the years and currently just rectified as a Master tech for five more years. Candace takes care of the front office work, schedules all appointments, customers, ordering parts _ sometimes picking the parts up, takes customers home -picks them up, takes vehicles for inspection if required to complete a job – repair. Before Covid, Candace would regularly pick up customers vehicles for service and deliver them back locally to teachers, coaches, widows or stay at home moms, local business people, or folks working from home. She has been known to even pickup license tags and gas for the vehicle. Read more>>

Candy Yu Yen Kuo

I have had my hands in the arts in one way or another since I was child. I started drawing in Taiwan before we moved to the states, so I was probably about 4 or 5. I grew up drawing fashion illustrations with the intention of becoming a fashion designer, but when I was studying it in college, I realized that my true passion was in the drawing and designing aspect and not necessarily the fashion. I still work with textiles, though my main focus in the last five years has been mural work. I created my whole life until right out of college, then stopped for probably five years. It never occurred to me that I could make a real career out of painting. However, since last year, I’ve returned to being a freelance artist for the second time and have gone all-in on pursuing this dream as far as it’ll take me. I still work on canvas pieces and like to play with a range of materials, but I’ve definitely fallen in love with spraypainting and hope to grow more in that direction. Read more>>

Shante Graham

Helping people from all walks of life has always been a passion of mine, and seeing a smile on their face in the process makes my heart happy. 2020 was a year of perseverance adjusting to working from home due to COVID-19 and going through a divorce. During that difficult time, I began to write things down on how I can make an impact in my community. I was determined not to allow my current situation dim my light. Honestly speaking, fear was getting in the way of starting my own organization, I began to look for organizations in Dallas to work within the background. After no results, I was determined to walk in my purpose, I began to focus on how to start a mentoring program that will empower young girls ages 7-17 in South Dallas, where I grew up. I chose to name my organization Serenity Mentoring because I love the Serenity prayer “God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Read more>>

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