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The Change-Makers: stories that inspire

The heart of our mission is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our communities. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some incredible artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with the incredible group below. Check out our favorite stories from across the Voyage family.

Delma Palacios

I’ve always known that I wanted to make a difference since I was younger. I remember seeing international missionaries or people who help the homeless on TV, and I felt like I wanted to make a difference in people’s situations just like them. My upbringing wasn’t so bad. I grew up in a rougher neighborhood in the 90s in the southwest side of San Antonio: Read More>>

Kelsey Creech

My entry into the real estate world was a matter of happenstance. I originally got my license because I started a real estate tech company that was the first ‘consumer reports’ model for the multi-family sector, and needed my license to operate the company. During that time, I realized that I enjoyed helping friends and family find their next homes and investment properties. I decided to sell my company in 2018 to move into residential full-time, and ten years later, I have not looked back! I absolutely love exploring new homes and embracing their different architectural styles. I feel very lucky that I get to help my clients find homes that meet their needs and will make them happy. Read More>>

Xijing Gloria Liu

I grew up in China, then moved to Australia when I was 17. I lived mostly in the coastal city Brisbane. I went to high school and then university there, and then got my Master degree in Chemical Engineering. I also met my husband during my time in the university. We moved to the US in 2015, as my husband took a job offer with Samsung Austin Semiconductor in Austin. Now I’m a stay-home mom of two girls (6 and 9) living in the US. Read More>>

DaLomonze Warren

Growing up in Cleveland, I found my love for music early on. I’ve been blessed to develop a unique sound and work with talented artists. In 2021, my collaboration with Emcee N.I.C.E resulted in award-nominated tracks, including “Dancin” and the TBL anthem. With the release of “Monies” and my feature on DJ Slam’s “Inside Out” in 2022, I’m grateful for every opportunity. Embracing my new brand, MoneyManDaLo, I hope to keep inspiring others with my music while remaining humble and appreciative. Read More>>

Shane Pavonetti

I began working in construction for a small commercial firm after I finished undergrad. I really enjoyed seeing the spaces come to life and the pile of materials turn into a finished product. While I loved seeing this through, I felt that I was better suited for the more aesthetic / design-oriented aspect of building and construction. I fell in love with the architecture I experienced while on a backpacking trip through Western Europe, and it was then I decided to go to architecture school.  Read More>>

Jennifer Gandin Le

I’ve been editing for over 20 years, but even longer than that, I’ve loved words, stories, and the magic of bringing people together to create something meaningful. 

My story begins in a Houston public school library, checking out and reading the thickest book I could find (“Little Women” was my favorite). It begins on the wooden floorboards of Alief Elsik High School; sitting in a circle with my castmates as we carefully sliced classic works into one-act plays for UIL competition, debating the meaning of each scene, line, and beat until we agreed on which to cut. Read More>>

Odra Lopez

My name is Odra Lopez, co-owner at AREGADESIGNS, and this is my story. I am a proud first-generation immigrant in Texas, and I am always very grateful for all the good things that this country has given me. I am happily married to Arturo Reyes, a graphic designer and co-founder of AREGADESIGNS. Read More>>

Ashley Patton

I was in sales for most of my life and decided to take a step back to be home with my kids more. I was looking for opportunities I could still do that would help me contribute financially to my household, and my mother contacted me about her best friend’s business they were selling. My mom‘s best friends were these two retired ladies that lived in Sun City that had started a little cotton candy business Called cotton candy cowgirls; they were moving out of state, and we’re no longer wanting to do it and so they were looking to sell it I told my mom I would be interested in it  Read More>>

Emma Berrigan

Born to Scottish Immigrants but now local to Austin, EMSKIII is the alias for queer, pro athlete, drummer, and electronic artist/DJ Emma Berrigan. Emma’s story is one of uniqueness. Growing up as a red-headed, queer woman in Texas, she always struggled to fit in. But music has allowed her to embrace standing out. Emma started drumming at the age of 8 and continued through college, playing in multiple bands and gigging around Austin at places like Stubbs, Mohawk, and Swan Dive. During this time, she was also introduced to the sport of Ultimate Frisbee and currently plays on Austin’s professional women’s/non-binary team called the Torch. Read More>>

Aristia Mosley

I was born and raised in New Orleans, and my family experienced Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This started my interest in wanting to be a counselor due to all of the help I received during that time. Puzzle Piece Counseling was born while I was in grad school but didn’t become a reality until a near-death experience for me. That experience pushed me to live fully and chase dreams I’ve always had. Read More>>

Anastasia Arsenic

I started performing at the age of 7. My Dad was a musician, and my mother was a thespian and made sure their daughters had a taste of the life of theatre. I was performing seasonally with Missoula Children’s Theater. The company had a program called Little Red Truck where two actors toured all over with set, costumes, and scripts to small towns and audition us the first night they arrived in town. Then they proceeded to set a fast and furious rehearsal schedule over the course of the next five days to have us show ready for our parents. Read More>>


bollyflow is an Austin-based desi-fusion dance company started by 5 friends, Monika, Anushka, Bhavya, Thanusha, and Alekhya. We all started dancing at a young age, and overtime our interest and passion grew as some of us became technically trained in different styles, joined professional Bollywood dance companies, and participated in competitive collegiate dance teams. After college, there were fewer opportunities to exercise this passion, and a dance-sized hole began to form. From there, ideating led to reality, and bollyflow was born. Read More>>

Rebekah Weintraub

I’ve always known that I was a servant leader, that I was born to help people. This unwavering drive and need to bring people back home to themselves is something that I’ve carried with me through everything. 

I want people to want to know who they are and what they came here to do. Read More>>

Aebee Acozsta

After graduating from High School, I had no plans to go to college. I felt college wasn’t necessary and thought; I can find a different career one that I am truly passionate about and doesn’t require to go to college. I really wanted to build a career in fashion and design my own clothing line, so I decided to become a model. I always had friends and family that would tell me I should be a model, and what better way to start a career in fashion by becoming a Fashion Model. Read More>>

Leila Khoram-Work

My story began in Iran, where I was born. Our family, like so many other Iranian families, were displaced when the Revolution of 1979 began. We chose to leave; one day, I was in school doing my daily routine, & the next we were packing for what we thought would be a few weeks. At the time, my older siblings were studying at the University of Michigan, so the rest of the family (sans our dad) eventually (via France & Germany) made our way there.  Read More>>

Amanda Johnston

I founded Torch Literary Arts in 2006 to reserve a space for Black women writers. As a Black women writer, I know firsthand the challenges we face, and I wanted to create a source of support both on and off the page. With no financial support, I launched with the little funds I could save from my paycheck. I believed if I could launch the organization, it would make a difference in the lives of the women we serve and the literary community as a whole. Our impact is seen in those who attend our events, submit their original work, and dare to share their stories with the world. Read More>>

Ethan Rodarte

The seeds of CulminationOfEverything (COE) were planted when I was in high school as I developed a love for both video editing and for music. I became passionate about video editing through the digital media and audio/video production classes I took, and around the same time, I became really interested in and influenced by hip hop/rap music that my friends would put me on to. Read More>>

Khatia Pipia

I am Khatia, happy woman wife mother of two amazing boys, and founder of Khatia’s Crafteria. I am from country Georgia Eastern Europe. With my family, we moved to the USA eight years ago. We lived in New York for six years and moved to Austin almost two years ago. I have always loved crafting since childhood. In November of 2022, I started my journey on social media. Khatia’s Crafteria turned out to be very interesting and popular for the audience in a very short period.  Read More>>

Tanisha Pappillion

As a single mother and veteran of the United States Armed Forces, I have always kept fitness and health at the forefront of my life. I value having an active fitness life and eating healthy for the better part of my life. It wasn’t until I found myself challenged with keeping the weight off, PCOS, and elevated liver enzymes from taking prescription medication for injuries acquired from my naval career, fibromyalgia among other things that I later discovered were contributing to my inability to lose unwanted stubborn weight and live a quality life free of prescription medication. Read More>>

Amanda Holliday

My name is Amanda Holliday, and I’m the producer for Don’t Tell Comedy in Austin. I go around and find weird, unique, or interesting spaces in Austin and turn them into standup comedy clubs for the night. 

I’m originally from the outskirts of Washington, DC. I’ve been in love with comedy since I was a kid. I moved to LA when I was 18 and took sketch writing & improv classes at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. I was pretty awkward and shy, so performing was hard for me. I started learning the business side of the industry by interning at a talent management company. Read More>>

Ulises Noyola

My father, Salomon Noyola, actually started by this business when I was only a few years old, he started picking up his own side jobs on the weekends, and for the last 10 years, it has become his full-time job as well as mine. I started helping him out as a kid, and I think it really taught me a lot about honest work and how money is earned as well as being responsible since our business depends on our decisions. I have been running it alongside him now as a co-owner now for the last 4 years full time, and I’ve begun to try and bring ourselves into a more modern and competitive look and business model. Read More>>

The Ransom Brothers

Sean McHargue and Daniel Solis met about 4 years ago through a mutual friend and started doing open mics. That eventually led them to being invited to play at The Saxon Pub. From there, they pushed to find some dedicated members to bring the project to life. Over time they added members Phil Eckhardt on bass, John Thomas on fiddle, James Rodman on Keys, and Aaron English on drums.  Read More>>


Slumber ATX

Christina and Whitney have been friends and partners in entrepreneurship for over a decade. Christina, a former facility manager with experience at a number of large universities, has been in Austin for 15 years. She is a mother of two and has a sweet cat named Harrison. Whitney, a former licensed Speech Language Pathologist, is a mother of two wonderful boys and has a 10-year-old pup named Clifton.  Read more>>

Travis White

Born and raised in Houston but Austin-based for the last 14 years. As an only child, drawing and writing were my go-to vices to entertain myself. Shortly after, I found my affinity for film and music. Going as far as once being in a band as the lead vocalist/songwriter and am currently an active Austin-based filmmaker and screenwriter. Finding WALLofWORDS was an effort to combine all of my passions into a project/business that scratches every itch while providing a unique approach to art that would finally aid in me standing out from any crowd. Read more>>

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