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Charles Layne Is Devoted to His Community Through Service

Charles Layne, 18, grew up in Antioch.

“Antioch was great,” he said. “I used to bicycle down to Antioch Middle and play basketball and soccer. I wouldn’t be who I am without it.

Charles called it a place that has a real sense of togetherness. At the age of 12, he moved to Mount Juliet.

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Jesús Ortiz Expands His Horizons in Nashville

Jesús Ortiz, 26, was born in Torreon, Mexico and moved to the United States in 1996.

His dad was in the agricultural industry and took a job in the U.S. where he moved his family to Boaz, Alabama.

“It was a small little town,” he said. “It was so small that we were one of the first Hispanics there. It was different. I didn’t even realize we moved to the United States until I started talking to people and had no idea what was happening.”

In the second grade, reality hit him, and he had a panic attack at the age of six. He said that’s when he realized he wasn’t home anymore.

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Sculptor Carolyn Boutwell’s Community is about Connecting and Collaborations

Carolyn Boutwell, 57, has been an artist her whole life. It was something that always came naturally to her.

“When I was growing up and heard about other kids taking art lessons, I was like, ‘What’s that? Why do people have to take art lessons?’”

Carolyn was born in North Carolina. When she was six years old, her father moved the family up to New Hampshire where she grew up.

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The Story Continues with Thamarius Head

It’s been over a year since we last talked to Thamarius (You can read his last story here.)

Since then, he’s graduated and received an MBA degree from Western Governors University, a university sponsored by the State of Tennessee, and gotten started as an entrepreneur.

“It was a great initiative by Governor Haslam to bring something like that to Tennessee,” he said. “It’s given a lot of people in my own family a chance at school. It gave me an opportunity to an alternative to the traditional route.”

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Adrien Saporiti Believes in Nashville and a Better Community for Everyone

 Graphic designer, entrepreneur, and artist, Adrien Saporiti, 28, was born and raised in Nashville.

Growing up on the west side of town, he was always around the music industry and the arts. His mother was an artist and his father, now retired, was a record label executive at Warner Music Nashville from the 1970s until the 1990s.

“The city has certainly changed over time. When I was a kid, it seemed boring,” he said. “As a kid, you don’t culturally appreciate what Nashville is to the rest of the world. It was cool realizing all that as I got older.”

In 2006, Adrien graduated from University School of Nashville. He took a year break before going off to study music business in Boston at Berklee College of Music. Coming back home in 2010, his perspective on his city changed.

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For Gabrielle Saliba, Dance is About Culture and a Connection

At the age of nine, Gabrielle Saliba’s mother put her in a dancing class. By 12, the Nashville area native was in love.

“My mom was like get out of my kitchen,” she said laughing. “I couldn’t help it. It was the best surface in the house.”

Gabrielle, 40, said apart from family, dance is the longest relationships she’s had in her life.

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For Butch Rice, Music and Community are About Commonality

Butch Rice, was born in Milan, Tennessee but moved to Louisville when he was young.

As a kid, his mother made him play the piano and in middle school she signed him up for choir too.

“Music became my best friend. I wanted to be surrounded by it,” he said.

At that time, Butch said what influenced him musically was what he heard from his parents. He said people like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Andraé Crouch, Walter Hawkins, and Sly and the Family Stone all had a significant impact on him while growing up.

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Carissa Orr Extends Compassion and Community to All

Carissa Orr’s compassion for others has led her all over the world.

Originally from Germany, she spent her formative years in Nashville growing up in different parts of the city like East Nashville, Donelson, and Clarksville while her father was stationed at Fort Campbell.

Now a flight attendant with Southwest Airlines, Carissa, 30, has traveled the globe extending compassion and helping others where there is a need.

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Hometown Kid Jackson Jones is Only Getting Started on His Dreams

Jackson Jones, 21, has lived in Murfreesboro his entire life and couldn’t imagine going to any other school than MTSU.

“My mother went here and graduated in the 80s, and my father has been around Murfreesboro his entire life, so I’m just kind of the hometown kid.”

When Jackson was a little kid he wanted to be a meteorologist. He said he’s never been uncomfortable being in front of a camera or talking in front of people. Looking up to people like News Channel 5’s Lelan Statom as his role model, Jackson said the job was appealing to him until another interest grew on him.

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Music Brought Alicia Lundquist to the US then to Nashville

Continuing our series with Festival of the Nations, today we bring you Alicia Lundquist.

Alicia Lundquist, 70, originally from the Philippines came to the United States as a young bride to a naval officer.

A well-known singer and entertainer there, she was invited to the U.S. by famous televangelist Bob Hope.