Photographed by Gregory Reed

About Daniusca

“I’m just a regular person,” says a shy Daniusca. “Nothing special.”

We disagree. She may be just like a lot of other tween girls in many ways – she loves the mall, Minecraft and dogs of all shapes and sizes – but there’s a sparkle in her eyes and a quiet song in her voice that sets her apart.

Drawn to the outdoors and wide, open spaces – she says Miami’s a fun place to live, but “there are so many cars!” – Daniusca would love to travel to Cuba, Colombia or any of the countries she’s explored through cultural dance, one of her favorite things to do. (She loves to sing, too.) Trying to do her best in school is another focus: she’s working really hard on language arts and math.

Asked to describe her perfect home life, Daniusca thinks for a moment, then says, “No drugs, no smoking, no fights. Just a nice, normal family.”

Also important is being accepted for who she is (which is pretty wonderful) and finding the support to grow and succeed: “It’s really important to be true to yourself and not let anyone take away your dreams.”

Daniusca, ID: 11739569