“On March 24, 1999, when I was at a tender age of eight, I figured out that life was not easy. Geopolitical complications descended on me when my country of citizenship – America – began dropping bombs on my country of residence, Serbia. Despite being fluent in Serbo-Croatian and completely immersed into Serbian life, explaining to other 8-year-olds that I wasn’t the enemy was a “mission impossible” and I found myself isolated, no longer accepted by other kids.

Oddly enough, when financial circumstances forced my family to move to one of the toughest neighborhoods in the Belgrade area, I was provided with a new opportunity. The bombing days were forgotten, and I was lucky enough to quickly make new friends. I found the acceptance and camaraderie that I craved for in Zemun [a town in Serbia]. My friends and I launched our music careers in the struggling rap industry in Serbia. In 2009, one of our songs, “Moj Beograd”, was recognized as a national hit, playing on the radio several times a day, with a music video that ran on TV. We also had several concerts. However, my reality grew harsher and harsher in Zemun. With so many friends facing jail time, I decided to turn towards a different path. The same US citizenship that had brought me so much misery in Serbia also opened the door to a job and community college in the USA.

In winter 2013, there was a virus sweeping my office. Everyone seemed to get over it, except me. After several unsuccessful trips to the emergency room, I practically crawled into a walk-in clinic. Within an hour, my diagnosis was clear: Type 1 Diabetes. Just what I needed – another eye-opening experience that brought more changes. I changed my lifestyle, the gym became my oasis and healthy meal preparation became my specialty. These events have made me a political junkie, who is also addicted to the gym. It is my great hope to become a political activist to make the world better and a personal trainer to help people improve their individual lives.”