She is the author of Love Your Jiggle: The Girl’s Guide To Being Marvelous published by Crystal Spirit Publishing, Inc., an inspirational book for girls ages 11-17. Topics covered include self-esteem, maintaining friendships, decision-making, conflict management, self-empowerment, and diversity. The messages are positive relating to growing up and being the best and most marvelous girl they can be.
Shanterra is a sought-after speaker on all things related to young people, speaking on topics such as teasing, friendships, cyber bullying, including sexting, and teen relationships. Keynote titles have been Surviving the High School Maze, Ageless Activism, Love Your Jiggle and Lead Fearlessly, Now!
Shanterra has a unique ideology regarding young people. “I have always wrestled with this notion that young people are our future. They are not our future. They dream bigger. Take greater risk, not all bad, and are fearless, until an adult tells them not to be. No, they’re not our future, they are the NOW!” With this in mind, Shanterra inspires young people to be more than what’s expected, more than what’s required and more than what’s modeled.
In addition to working directly with young people, Shanterra educates adults on how to be better advocates for young people. This includes training adults in the areas of youth development, youth leadership and understating topics often prominent with adolescents. Friendships, social hierarchies, cyber bullying and teen relationships are a few topics that adults frequently ask her to address. She speaks throughout the country at schools, corporations, colleges and universities, faith-based organizations, non-profits and a variety of associations.
Shanterra’s background in youth leadership and student development is extensive – and impactful. As a first generation college graduate, Shanterra knows all too well what it means to pursue your passion, which is what she seeks to instill in young people. As a native Texan, Shanterra received a full vocal performance scholarship to Southern Methodist University (SMU). She soon realized that although she loved singing, something was missing from her life and that was the passion and opportunity to serve others. She changed her major, many times, but eventually felt at home with Sociology and later added Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. After earning her two degrees from SMU, Shanterra furthered her education by obtaining a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.
Shanterra’s career has been dedicated to advancing youth development initiatives, consulting for organizations like the DC Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation and serving as the Deputy Executive Director of a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the culture of violence among young people. She has also served as an Assistant Principal in a private, Catholic high school in Atherton, CA, where she encouraged her students to embrace themselves as unique individuals, and to use their voice of privilege to speak for those who are not heard.
As a leadership development expert, some of Shanterra’s proudest accomplishments include:
- Designing curriculum for youth leaders
- Developing a girls’ leadership program at a local high school in Washington, DC while serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member
- Training over 4, 000 front-line youth workers and managers in the Washington, DC metropolitan area
- Cluster facilitator for LeaderShape, Inc., a week long institute with college-aged students from around the country gathered to improve society by inspiring, developing and supporting more people to lead with integrity.
- Spokesperson for a telecommunications company’s social responsible program, reaching out to over 7,000 students in rural America about the prevalence of cyber bullying and teaching them how they can take preventative action against it.
- Advising, since its inception, Kimball Union Academy’s Girls’ Leadership Camp, on the development of its curriculum and participating as an instructor each year for the week long residential camp.
- Impacting the lives of over 15,000 students at various schools, colleges, leadership camps and educational programs throughout the country with messages of hope, self-empowerment and community action.
Various media have interviewed Shanterra as an expert on bullying and teen dating violence, including National Public Radio, Essence and Parade magazine, and an assortment of network and cable television affiliates across the United States.
Shanterra is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the SMU Black Alumni Association Board. She has volunteered with the Children’s Defense Fund, Imagine Me Ministries and the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce.
She is grateful to be a resident of Dallas again after almost 18 years, especially because she’s close to her family. Shanterra believes two things have always kept her grounded: her relationships with family and friends and her relationships with her mentees. These two constants remind her of her purpose in life, which is to mend, motivate and empower young people to believe they are, without reservation, absolutely MARVELOUS!
To learn about the different ways Marvelous University works with young people click here.