Amanda Mena, 15, walked off the America’s Got Talent stage with the most prized trophy Tuesday night: a Golden Buzzer.
The Massachusetts native gave a soulful rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman” that even prompted notoriously strict Simon Cowell to say, “This is an audition we’re going to remember for a long time.”
However, Amanda’s affinity to music stems from a tough childhood: growing up as an immigrant from Dominican Republic, she didn’t speak a lick of English when her family migrated to the USA.
Watch it again! Thank you so much. The love coming in is humbling and overwhelming. pic.twitter.com/y7GQf78q4M
— Amanda Mena (@AmandaMenaMusic) June 20, 2018
The fact that she was different made her an easy target for bullies.
Lucky for Amanda, she had her music and her mom to get her through.
In an interview after her appearance on the show, Amanda was asked what she would say if she could talk to her bullies right now. “I’d wanna say thank you, because they taught me a lot,” Amanda answered.
“There’s a lot of girls that don’t feel good about themselves,” Amanda said. “I want to put in my music things that inspire them to believe that they are amazing.”