In July 1989, I was born to a teenage girl in Louisville, Kentucky. Unable to care for me properly, she put me up for adoption.
Despite the odds, I found myself a loving family in Connecticut. The coolest part is that everyone in my family is adopted! From my brother and parents to grandparents. It's crazy. We all came from different places to find ourselves under one roof. To me, family is not about blood, but about love, luck and appreciation.
One of the greatest forms of love my family gave me was the gift of travel; the opportunity to experience the world first hand.
Of the beautiful cultures I was able to experience, India’s truly captured my heart.
I first stepped foot in this colorful and energizing world as a teenager.
Completely taken aback by the spirit of the people, I was shown a way of life that I had not yet seen before. Positivity and kindness were everywhere, as vibrant as the kaleidoscope of color flowing through the country’s markets.
At sixteen, I was given the opportunity to make a conscious shift in my perspective - to see the world through a lens of positivity.
Praying inside mountain-top temples, houseboating through villages in Kerala, and connecting with the locals, I was immersed in the rich character and energy of the culture.
Upon my arrival home, I created a short film documenting my perspective-shifting experience, winning top prize at my high school’s film festival. It was in that theater, witnessing the audience’s emotional reaction, that I knew I was going to tell stories for the rest of my life. I was hooked.
Propelled by my passion for storytelling, I pointed my compass towards Los Angeles and fought my way out to the University of Southern California.
Beginning this new chapter of my life, I was at my dream school on the other side of the country. It was only months into my freshman year and I never saw it coming.
A chilly Saturday evening on March 29th and I was walking a friend back to the dorms. As Adri and I made our way through the crosswalk at Jefferson and Hoover, a speeding Infiniti sedan ran the red light, striking us head-on. Upon impact, I flipped in the air and flew through the windshield. The car continued barreling down the street with me lodged through the broken glass for fifteen seconds. The car stopped by the Shrine Auditorium, just long enough for the passengers to pull me from the glass, slicing my body and tossing me to the pavement.
With the bones jutting out of my legs, my torso open wide, the muscles outside my arms, and the clothes ripped from my body, I lay on the pavement awake and alone.
As the red pooled around me, I wiggled my knee caps and my toes and I realized I wasn’t paralyzed. Unsure of what exactly had happened, it was then that I made a decision - that no matter what lie ahead, I was going to fight. I was going to live. I was going to prevail. I yelled for help with all my might, and within three minutes an ambulance arrived.
The ensuing four years of recovery granted me an opportunity: to become the strongest person humanly possible, physically and mentally.
Eight major operations, thousands of stitches, regrowing new leg bones, relearning how to walk, and conquering two physical addictions to painkillers, and I successfully transformed my body back to health. I was alive, with my whole life in front of me. I was not going to waste a single minute.
Words will never be able to help me articulate what it’s truly like to live. To witness the watercolors of a sunset, to breathe ocean air, to feel the rumble of thunder. To experience.
So I pour that energy into my work. This unadulterated appreciation for life powers everything that I do.
In May 2013, I graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, completing my mission to finish school.
Armed with an unwavering determination, the skills to execute and a collection of the best creatives of my generation, I founded the digital branding studio Vibrancy (now Yves & Co.).
Bringing talented Millennials together across mediums to create immersive experiences for socially impactful organizations and people. Vibrancy was my outlet to share my passion with the world.