Redford teen inspires others through past pain with motivational speeches

‘A lot of students used to call me names because I was the only Black kid in my classroom’

It's an unfortunate reality as we start a new school year as some children will have to face bullies in the classroom. But one local teen is turning her own painful experiences of being bullied into hope and triumph, and she's doing it through motivational speeches.

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – It’s an unfortunate reality as we start a new school year as some children will have to face bullies in the classroom.

But one local teen is turning her own painful experiences of being bullied into hope and triumph, and she’s doing it through motivational speeches.

Shannon Monet is a 16-year-old motivational speaker, and she wanted to meet with Local 4 to chat in Farmington Hills in an area that was so peaceful and serene.

Although Monet is only 16, her experiences are pretty fresh when she conjures them as she lets us into the world she’s created to help heal herself and others that are or have dealt with being bullied.

Monet can be seen in the video player above wearing a blue jean dress, and yellow hat is confident, self-assured, and talented, but she didn’t always feel that way as she was bullied relentlessly at nine years old.

“A lot of students used to call me names because I was the only Black kid in my classroom,” said Monet. “They use to say, ‘You are an N-word’ and different things like that. They called me that multiple times and one time, the teacher even heard it, and she didn’t do much about it.”

Monet was bullied so much as a kid that she hid inside of herself. She didn’t even tell her mother.

“We just found out whenever she brought the Outcast video out,” said mother, Regina Mills.

Outcast is the name of just one of the videos she wrote and produced, which talks about her personal journey through faith and self-healing.

Monet turned her pain into triumph, and she wants other children and their parents to understand what bullying can do, how to spot it, how to stop it, and how to heal from it.

“Even looking in the mirror like, ‘I am this because this person said I am ugly, so I am ugly,’” Monet said. “‘Or this person says I’m not beautiful, so I am not beautiful.’”

Monet says that changes in behavior are a way to spot if your child is being bullied.

“You may notice, like, they are (staying) in the bed longer or different signs like that,” Monet said.

She said to stop being bullied, you should tell an authority figure like a parent or caregiver.

“We suggest telling your parents or finding a group that can really help you out,” Monet said. “Finding someone that you can really confide in that you really can trust. I also did I am affirmations which helped build me up, like, ‘I am strong, I am confident,’ and I spoke against what other people labeled me as. ‘I am powerful, and I am beautiful.’”

Monet is a blossoming motivational speaker that is making rounds on various podcasts, making her own videos, and building her brand on the speaker’s circuit. She is determined to help others not be who she was but who she is now.

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About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.