Fifteen-year-old Manya Bondada from Plano has a way with words – and notes! Beyond her years, she finds that the best way to express herself is through poetry, prose and music. More than that, she sees that expression as a way to connect with and inspire others. We’re proud to feature our latest junior Muse and hope that her story inspires, empowers and makes an impact on you to dare to dream and realize the muse within!
In Her Own Words
“I love to write poems, songs, stories, even music simply because I have a passion for it! I believe that the work that I do empowers and inspires women and girls because my writing helps to put certain emotions into words, making difficult times and feelings easier to deal with.
“I know and see lots of girls and women who put themselves down because they do not realize how special they are, so I always write with the intent of not only helping myself, but helping someone else love themselves more.”P
“I hope that people who read my stories can truly understand and accept that there is more to people than what is seen at the surface.“
What inspired you to do the work that you do/motivates you today?
“Stressful school days often leave me tired and frustrated, but being able to write about different things from fantasy all the way to realism helps me calm down and stay motivated to do my best. I am inspired by so many things and each piece of inspiration is a key factor in my writing. I love watching movies and TV shows from different cultures, and I have noticed that emotions like love, pain and stress are all universal, regardless of where a person is from. This is one reason why I love to write stories with characters from different ethnicities.
“I am also a huge science nerd! I absolutely love space and the human brain simply because there is so much we do not know. This gives me so much room to let my imagination run free and create my own theories about the universe and the brain and how they are interconnected.
“However, in the end, everything that inspires me always ties back to me trying to understand myself and others around me. I observe myself and the people around me very closely, and from doing this I have been able to keep an open mind about the world we live in. My stories are heavily inspired by my emotions and emotions I have noticed in the people around me, and I hope that people who read my stories can truly understand and accept that there is more to people than what is seen at the surface.”
How did you get to where you are and what challenges did/do you face?
“I am my biggest challenge. We live in an extremely competitive world where only a small number of people make it to the very top, which leaves our world open to a wide variety of threats from cyber bullying all the way to lying and cheating. Something that has been very difficult for me is accepting myself for who I am.
“However, in the end, women and girls should never feel like they need to change themselves or compromise who they are to fit in. Being yourself is the only way to truly feel free, no matter how terrifying the thought may be. Having amazing, supportive family and friends who make me feel special gives me the confidence to trust myself. We all go through our own challenges, but without them we would never know how strong we are.”
Who is your she-ro?
“Emma Watson for sure! Not only is she an amazing actress, but I also believe that she is a beautiful person inside and out. She successfully filmed the Harry Potter films (go Gryffindor!) while studying extremely hard so she could build herself a bright future.
“I love and admire Emma Watson because she proved to the world that being a girl or boy doesn’t matter, and gender only goes skin deep. Breaking stereotypes and fighting for equality does matter because anyone who aims for greatness will not be held back from doing what they love simply because of gender; deep down, we are all the same.”
What is your favorite quote?
I have so many it’s so difficult to choose, but these are my top two.
“Oh my darling it’s true, beautiful things have dents and scratches, too.”
“Don’t compare your behind the scenes to other people’s highlights.
Do you know a #ModernMuse who has an amazing story to tell? Send us her story to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to know her: 1) Name, 2) Age if under 25, 3) Ethnicity, 4) Location, 5) Relationship to you, 6) Why you think she is a #ModernMuse (what is she doing or has she done to make Inspire, Empower, Impact the world or the community around her?). We’ll let you both know when we’d like to publish her story, send her a few more questions and will share it on our social media channels. Looking forward to your submissions!