Today we’d like to introduce you to Shanttal Miller.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
At the age of eight, I moved from Las Vegas Nevada my birth home to California. Leaving all my close friends and some family behind to start a new life a state away. I move to at least three small cities before we planted roots in where we now call home. However, in the three years of moving around to different schools I was bullied constantly. Whether it be for the birthmark I had on my nose or the fact that my two front teeth had grown at a faster rate to where they looked too big for my mouth. Moving was hard enough but to be bullied around by other kids was hurtful. I loved school. But being near all these kids made me not like it so much. I am in my senior year of high school now. And I’m happy to say bullying is a thing of my past. However it haunted me all the way until I was a sophomore in high school.
As a girl who competes in pageants and volunteers regularly in the community I wanted a bigger way to give back. Which is why I formed my organization Breaking Barriers. I learned there are more people out there just like me who have been bullied and told that there were certain things they just could not do. People said I couldn’t be a model because I was too short. People said I wouldn’t be successful yet here I am. Everyday someone is told whether they can or cannot do something. Whether it be there passion or something they just want to try. Breaking Barriers is all about breaking the glass ceilings that were put there by those who tried to make one feel smaller than them. I am an advocate for women and children’s rights, anti-bullying, animal safety, human rights, mental health and more.
As a 17 years old girl who loves to help people I decided my major would be In both International Relations and Human Rights. I want to receive 2 degrees and also minor in public relations and foreign languages. I will intern at the United Nations in NYC where I plan to work after I gain valuable work experience from around the globe. I will then continue on my work to forming a worldwide nonprofit organization and then apply for my dream job at the United Nations. Making a difference is a big part of my life and if my one act can cause millions of smiles I have done a good job. I love what I do because I will choose to do it over and over even if I am not paid. Not many can say that about their work.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to my success today has not been easy. I hit a lot of bumps along the way. Including getting diagnosed with depression, losing some close friends, and even switching schools in the middle of my junior year. But all the obstacles have been worth it to get to where I am today and I came back stronger and more ready than ever before.
Please tell us about Breaking Barriers.
Breaking Barriers is all about breaking the norms against what those who were bullied were told they couldn’t do. I reach out to schools, church groups, organizations and hospitals and my community and cities nearby to express my message and help them create long-lasting friendships with the members of there community that they meet through my meetings. I am so proud to be able to those who were hurt bounce back and come back stronger than ever in ways they themselves didn’t think possible. I work personally with everyone who meets with me and I ensure they succeed by contacting them every other day and meeting up with them to make sure they are on track with their goals. I love what I do and love brining others closer together in doing so creating binding friendships that last a lifetime.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
One of my favorite childhood memories is going to downtown Las Vegas Strip go to the malls they had inside when it was too hot to go to the park and look at all the art and then go to the M&M store to get candy and walk around the little amusement park area.
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