My parents are two of the most hardworking people I’ve ever met. My mom works three jobs, and my dad had a very stable government job so he could provide us with whatever we needed. I grew up in not the best neighborhood, but as a kid growing up I thought I was rich, because I had everything that I wanted on the table. My parents worked very hard to make it seem like I wasn’t in a bad neighborhood. The reality was that if I stepped outside my house there were probably gang fights.
My mom cleaned houses, did nails, cooked for people, and did anything to put me in a private school across town which was a very typical American school. It was all white. Everyone had super nice shoes. Some things are handed to kids and some people have to work for it. I went to a Christian school that was very, very conservative, from kindergarten to senior year. I love what the school drilled into me.
My parents raised me very conservative. I’ll be honest, my parents did shelter me. My parents are very old school. My dad raised me as an athlete. He was my coach for soccer for five years. I remember when I wanted to start running track, I would run with him. As a kid, you take breaks and say, “I’m tired.” “I want to be done.” He always told me, “If you stop now, you are always going to stop in life”. Now, anytime I pursue anything I think about that. I like to keep going, to keep trucking through it.
I saw how hard my parents worked. They provided a beautiful home and gave me everything I wanted. I saw what my parents sacrificed and what they did to provide for their kids.
I was super nerdy growing up. I was super scrawny, not cute. I was really nerdy and awkward, but I was friends with everybody, loved people, and just wanted to be nice to everyone. Kids would always make fun of me. I was in, not special ed, but it’s like special ed. I was put in a smaller class. I have Dyslexia, NOS (Learning Disorder “Not Otherwise Specified” which is a diagnosis that is no longer given), and ADD. My attention is scattered, I lose focus, and reading was always really hard for me. School has always been such a struggle but I love learning. I’m a hands-on type of person. I hated testing. I’m a “do-er”. I’m one of those people, like, “Just show me how to do it”, and I’ll do it.
Identity is something that I feel everybody struggles with. What’s my identity without my occupation? What’s my identity if I’m not singing, or making money, or if I’m not a girlfriend, daughter, or mother, or whatever. Modeling comes in seasons. You’ll have one season where you’re booking so much work. You think, “This is what I’m doing.” Then, you’ll have a season where you’ll have no work for a month, and you think, “Is my career over?” I feel like God has been like, “That’s not your identity.” “Your identity is in me.” At the end of the day, you’re human, just like everyone else. You’re here in this world to serve, to be a light, to bring encouragement, and to have purpose, no matter if that’s your occupation, or if you’re a stay-at-home parent, or whatever it is.
People think that on social media, on my Instagram, I look like a very risqué girl. I’m super nerdy, I’m super friendly, and I always have a smile on my face, but on social media it gives a different perspective, like, she’s probably really mean. That’s just on the surface, but if you read the captions or get to know someone they’re more than just a face. I would say that when people look at me or just through social media they probably think, “Oh, she’s a bitch.” Someone told me that they were intimidated to come up to me because I walk a certain way. I’m just walking fast to get to where I have to go. If someone says “hi”, I’m always down for a conversation.
I’m not a materialistic person at all. I came from a neighborhood where it was like, you had a car that got you from point A to point B. It’s nice to have nice things. I’m not against that, but I’m not a materialistic person. I’m not stuck up. I remember being on set one time for modeling and one of the directors made fun of me because I was helping the garbage man take out the trash. They told me, “That’s not your job.” I knew that, but I wasn't doing anything else. I was just sitting there. I had my makeup and hair done. I have two hands that God gave me and I might as well use them.
I would like people to think of me as an “encourager”, someone who is very positive and motivated. I want to help people. I’m always there and willing to help anybody. I think that time is the most valuable thing that you can give to anyone. It’s something you can’t get back. When somebody says, “What do you want to be?” I say I want to be an impact. I want to use my voice to empower people. Nowadays, especially with everything that is going on, you’re getting so many different voices from so many different areas. There is already so much negativity and I think that we are our worst critics. You need to block the voices and listen to empowering things. I want to work on myself to become more vocal about what I believe and what I stand for and to encourage others.
I’m such an empath. I like to deal with people’s pain. I know that sounds crazy, but I can walk into a room, or just if I’m talking with someone, I can get a gut feeling and it hurts.