There’s a lot to be proud about, being from National City. I want to help inspire and motivate others by sharing stories of National City natives and residents. Whether these stories lead to success, or lessons from failure, we all can gain a greater understanding of; no matter where you come from, the environment or cards you've been dealt, embrace it and defy the odds. Success is a choice, and failure is just feedback.


Jeffrey Telmo
Instagram: @telmotheraptor /// @mekacoffeesd
As part of my Good Kids Nasty City Spotlight, I would love to share part of your journey. I believe you’ve been someone our peers respect and always had that entrepreneur mind set. My aim is to spark motivation and inspiration sharing these spotlights. Again, thank you!

Introduce yourself and share what your passions are? (Ex. Family, art, etc.)

My name is Jeffrey Telmo but everyone calls me “Telmo”.  My true love is my family, I do everything for them. They are the reasons I pursue to do better things and to set up stepping stone for my kids to be successful in life. As far as passion, I’m into a lot of things, I’m pretty sure I tried to do everything, I’m big on learning but one of the things I truly love is MMA. It made a big impact in my life. The discipline aspect, the humbling experience, and adversity it’s puts your through specially grappling. Though I never pursue anything with it, just training and learning it change me as a person.

What has been the most important thing you’ve pursued so far that has made the greatest impact on where you are now in life?
And growing up in National City, describe your upbringing.
The most important thing i pursued is probably starting my online business. Even though it was a failure, it gave me a valuable lesson.  It was a learning experience and gave me different ways to start a business. Being able to engage with marketing, research creating an LLC and different types of business entities. It was my spark for me to create anything. Giving me the confidence and gateway through learning.

Growing up in National city, it was different for me. I moved here when I was 11 from the Philippines.  Coming in to the city and even though I barely knew the culture and the language it just felt like home to me. We didn’t have much growing up but my parents did their best to make us feel everything is good and normal. Now, as an adult I look at it t how my parents really grind it out day by day. Working two jobs both 8 hours shift at times just to provide. It was never easy, specially with challenges that came along the way. I always look back now; and experiencing and seeing what my parents did.  If they are able to do that and provide to set me up for a better future. I can do the same for my family.

Shout out to our parents! The sacrifices our parents made for us are innumerable. As we got older we started understand the costs of those sacrifices: time, money, career, relationships, health. For us, our parents left the Philippines, left their families... to give us a better life here. They had to adjust to the culture, the language, work 2 full time jobs, and the list goes on. And I’m over here complaining about internet connection smh. “The more I go through parenting, the more I owe an apology to my parents.”

You were 11 when you came here to the states. You too had to make adjustments and overcome numerous of obstacles. I’m proud of the man you’ve become brotha. Keep striving to be best version of yourself!

What do you think was your life defining moment, which got you to where you’re at now?

There’s a list I can add onto as life defining but one that come close is honestly becoming a husband and a father. As a husband, you learn to understand married life is give and take now between my wife and I. Understanding our shortcomings and deficits; and taking it in and learn to love each regardless of the bad times. Good times and happy moments are always there and very easy to take. I think people at times tend to look for that high times all the time in marriage when in reality it’s never perfect and it’s the down time when love truly matters most. As a parent it teaches you of truly how to love. You have a little version of yourself that truly look up and depends on every action you do in life. Truly unconditional and regardless of what happens. It taught me perseverance, patients, and what the true definition of what love is. Loving them just for being themselves without anything in return. Their happiness is yours and that’s bliss. I strive for my love ones. There’s more to it but that’s the best and shorter version I can write about it.

Beautifully said!
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18 year old self?
Lastly, tell us what you currently do and any future plans.

THANK YOU, brotha!

Mistakes are okay and make them early and good habits are built to destroy the old ones. till today I’m still working on telmo time with friends and family. As far as business I’ve been good with it hahaha. Anyways, It’s the only way you will learn. It might take longer with some of them but it’s trial and error. Don’t be afraid to try things, it only takes one to hit success.  That sounds like a run on sentence but truly I feel like just keep chasing what you love to do whatever it is and stick with it. Lastly, cherish your love ones, time is finite.

As far as plans, currently I practice as occupational therapy assistant and still doing it because it’s closely dearly to my heart. Still doing our @mekacoffeesd with my wife, who truly works hard day to day. Still pushing our coffee business and striving with upcoming projects as a husband and wife business. I have couple of projects I’m working on and hopefully to push out soon. I do side hustle and learning trade works but that’s still early. Again just learning and working to learn financial world as my tool to create a life and have more time at home with the family and love ones. Lastly, travel and travel often with my love ones to see the world. Thank you bro. Truly appreciate it!
Ernest Pierce
Instagram: @papa_ep /// @rosewoodmediahouse
Introduce yourself and share what your passions are? (Ex. Family, art, sports, etc.)
My name is Ernie Pierce, born and raised in National City, CA. my passions include anime, videography, film and just enjoying life. Growing up in National City, describe your upbringing? (Family, school, friends, challenges, etc). I grew up with a single mom of 4 and we lived in the NCPA’s all the way from elementary at John A. Otis to Sweetwater High School. It felt normal. All of my friends did the same thing for the most part with a few having gone to a different elementary- by the time we hit NCMS we’re together for the next 6 years of school so it was all good. My core group of friends (and god forgive me if I missed someone) were Brienard, Mike, Darnell because we all lived within 30 steps from each other. Then, we added John De La Cruz, Angel, Jeffrey and Juan. In a funny way we all went through variations of tandems and trios with who hung out with who the most and I don’t think we ever really knew why or explained it but by High School we were all together kickin it by the cafeteria. We kept to each other- we were a very tight knit group, eclectic as hell too. Everyone had a special talent and was a nerd for something but we were really family. I’m happy with the way I grew up in NC.
Shout to moms! Single parent and 4 of y’all! Those core friends, having common interests, and all living in the same apartments or similar situations (low income apts, working class parent(s) I’m sure helped made things feel normal and helped you stay out of trouble for the most part. I know we would still get into some trouble but that’s normal haha. What or who are your biggest influences?
That’s tough to answer. I’d say my mom first because I’ve never seen her quit. You can’t quit when its all on you and even now when we talk she’s still full of life and wisdom. I’m learning how to be a better parent and better version of myself from her. I’d also say my daughters because I want to show them what determination, ambition and skill all look like when you’re dedicated to your life’s mission. Lastly, I’d say national city. When people ask me where I’m from I don’t say the Daygo- I tell them National City and then explain exactly where it is in relation to it. I’m proud of where I came from.
Mom, daughter, the city. I love it. Seeing your growth is inspiring. You left the city and did big things but you never forgot where you came from. I remember seeing you post one of your football player profile recordings from either your college days with Kansas State or Arena Football team, Utah Blaze, and you proudly said “Ernest Pierce from National City, CA.” I remember jumping up and being hyped. You could of said San Diego but kept it 100 and said National City! Big salute. What do you think was your life defining moment, which got you to where you’re at now?
There’s more to this explanation that’s better told in person because of the nuances but the moment I turned down going to Idaho State and went to City College in SB was it. My mom wasn’t mad but wasn’t completely on board until when she asked me what my plan was. I looked her dead in her eyes and said, “if I can get D1-AA offer from year as a WR (remember I played QB all of us til Ferrari’s Dad came into the mix) then I’ll go somewhere and learn how to be a really good one and get bigger offers.” She just looked and said, “Ok.” I think the next week after graduation and celebrations concluded I was on a one way ticket on the Amtrak. I received my first offers from Troy and then received interest from Oregon, Oregon St., San Jose St. after my season. That decision made me believe that I could create anything I believe when I said it, worked for it and kept my focus on. I do it all the time now.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18 year old self?
Play baseball lol.
Save all of your money, don’t worry about flexing, work hard and then work harder. Don’t be afraid of your soft skills and talents. Take all of those risks that you think about. Anything that you constantly dream about is worth pursuing. Trust your intuition. Read constantly. Find mentors and always be yourself.
Thank you for doing this and sharing part of your story brotha! Doing these I hope can spark some kind of motivation from my followers and use these as a type of guidance. ________________________________________________________________________
Marco Hernandez
Instagram: @marx_blendz_ /// @premium_blendz_
Please introduce yourself and share what your passions are (Ex. Family, art, career, etc.)
Marco: What up ya’ll, my name is Marco Hernandez. I am a National City native who owns and operates, Premium Blendz Barbershops. My passions are my Family, being a father, taking on new challenges as a young entrepreneur, and learning everyday how to perfect my craft as a professional barber. I also like to plan and host community outreach events where we give back to our community
B: Thank you for taking time out of your day to do this. I know family and running a business are all full time jobs. And love your efforts in giving back to the community Can you describe your upbringing growing up in National City?
Marco: Growing up in NC during my era was tough. You had the best of both worlds. Gang Banging and the streets were rough along with all the temptations to do bad. But for me my mindset was always to do well and be the best I could be. I knew I wanted more than what was stereotyped as a young man coming out of NC. I will always pay homage to NC because I didn’t grow up privileged and it taught me to be book smart and street smart. The NC community has always showed love and we are a tight niche of people. It’s so diverse and cultured that it makes it a UNIQUE city that I call HOME
B: National City, a city of low income and the working class. Everything is earned. Since I launched this brand, it’s dope seeing the city come together and show how proud we all are being from National City. Yes, the temptation to do bad was/is a constant battle. I believe that’s when the people you surround yourself with play a big role. What or who are your biggest influences?
Marco: My biggest influences have to be my parents. They paved the way and layered down a foundation for me to become the man I am today. As far as my barbering career goes I’d have to say the barbers I worked with at Superior Cuts, just to name a few Gerry, Ray, Julz P, Chris, Javi, Roy, Lil Jon etc. we pushed motivated each other to be the best at what we do. It def was one of the best times in my career. Shout out to all the OG barbers that put SD on the map in this WATERED down barber game.
B: Shout out to the parents! That’s where it starts. As a parent yourself, I’m sure you’re applying a similar foundation for your kids. The people we have around us makes a huge impact on our lives. You had motivating people around you that helped pushed you to be your best . So key in our growth. It’s also our job to identify the negative people in our lives and move accordingly. What do you think was your life defining moment, which got you to where you’re at now?
Marco: Man that’s a tough one but I’d have to safe becoming a father and having a kid of my own. I’ve always been a father figure to a good amount of kids but there isn’t anything like having one of your own. It was a blessing. It changed my direction as a Man. It changed my perspective on life. It brought purpose to my life. It motivated me to grind harder as a father now and as a man. B: As a father myself, I couldn’t agree more! The last question, Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18 year old self? Marco: I would have to say, Remain Humble, Stay Consistent, Be Patient, and Work hard! “The Sky is the Limit”