LANCASTER – Fifteen-year-old Lancaster resident Shany Monroy says being the subject of a popular YouTube docu-series is cause for her to celebrate the positive decisions of her life.
The reality show, “My Dream Quinceañera,” produced by AwesomenessTV and streamed on its YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/AwesomenessTV, features young Latinas preparing for their coming-of-age celebration.
“The quinceañera is like showing everyone you’re growing into a woman now,” Shany told The AV Times. “It’s the time in a young Latina’s life when you can now wear makeup, wear high heels and have a boyfriend, too.”
Cameras follow the teens as they plan their dream quinceañera, shopping for the perfect dress, planning an exciting fiesta, and choosing their Court of Honor.
The experience has been mind-blowing for Shany, she admits, “like crazy how everyone notices me now.” The show has also brought her closer to her family, she says.
“My mom and dad have been on top of watching all the comments on the channel,” she said. “Most are positive, and then there [are] the bad comments; but some people, especially my family, have been backing me up and standing up for me.”
The support she receives from her loved ones – both behind the scenes and online – is very important to Shany at this time in her life.
Originally from Arkansas, Shany recently moved with her family to Lancaster and found herself in a new social setting.
“After starting at my freshman year in high school, I was really excited about attending my new school, and I didn’t think anything would stop me,” she said. “But then you run into some kids who put pressure on you to do drugs, and I really thought I was alone.”
After experiencing a period of depression, Shany eventually opened up to her mother and cousin for support, and they helped her get through the tough times. However, it was not until Shany began to work with others in the online docu-series that she experienced a “sort of coming out party” that helped her celebrate the positive decisions she made – while learning that she was not alone.
“I learned that lots of girls my age are going through what I went through,” she said. “And I want to really open up to them and help them get past it. For me, it’s believing in God that got me through it.”
With all the recent attention, Shany said that her goal is to become a singer and an actress – and to go to college. And though she doesn’t know if the online show has really made her a celebrity, she knows that she is happy.
“I’m so happy this happened to me. I thought it would take a long time for me to get here.”
The fourth season of “My Dream Quinceañera” premiered August 13 on AwesomenessTV and its fourth episode featuring Shany airs today [Sept. 3] on the production company’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/AwesomenessTV. View Shany’s debut episode above.
With nearly 3 million subscribers through its YouTube channel, AwesomenessTV’s core demographic is teens. The Los Angeles-based digital media company is majority-owned by DreamWorks Animation, and it airs daily shows on its YouTube channel, Nickelodeon and DHX TV in Canada.