Tamara Mena is a bilingual motivational speaker, actress, host, model, ambassador, survivor and eternal optimist. Tamara was born and raised in Leon, Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 13. At the age of 19, she suffered a horrific car accident that left Tamara paralyzed from the mid-chest down and, unfortunately, killed her boyfriend. On a cold October night, they were headed to Rosarito beach. Their plans were to go dancing and they did not want to drink and drive, so they decided to grab a taxi in Tijuana, Mexico. They were almost to their destination, when they randomly struck a horse that was standing in the middle of the road. From this impact, Tamara became paralyzed, and unfortunately, her boyfriend and taxi driver were instantly killed. It was a miracle Tamara survived this accident. From surviving a near death experience, Tamara chose to dedicate her life to share her message of hope, and above all, motivate people to believe in themselves. Despite the great tragedy she endured, she never lost sight of her dreams and goals; Tamara retook her studies, attended California State University Stanislaus, where she majored in Communication Studies, received numerous academic awards, and despite several hospitalizations, graduated with highest honors, summa cum laude. Tamara’s courageous spirit continues to stay up, even with all the obstacles she’s had to face and overcome, such as surviving two car accidents.
Tamara has been a guest speaker at numerous events. She has been invited as a special guest on many TV shows, English and Spanish-speaking, as well as international TV shows. Among those are Sábado Gigante, Aquí y Ahora, Qué Noche, The Doctors, Inside Edition, American Latino, El Hormiguero and others. Her participation on the famous reality TV show, Nuestra Belleza Latina, impacted a large number of viewers, as she was the first woman in a wheelchair to ever make it on the famous beauty pageant. She proved her talent on stage as a host, regardless of her physical limitations, motivating thousands of people. Tamara has modeled on several and international runways such as “Modelle & Rotelle” and New York Fashion Week.
Tamara has been featured in different magazines and publications. The world famous magazine LATINA has written a few articles about her and recognized her as one of the “most inspiring Latinas.” She was also voted as “the most inspiring Latina” in 2014 at the American Latino Tv Show Awards. She was recognized in NYC as a “Fun and Fearless Latina” by Cosmo For Latinas magazine, selected as one of 15 exceptional women chosen across the U.S. as “game changers and Latinas to watch out for.” In 2016 she was awarded as “Most Inspirational Latinas in 2016” by Alegria magazine. She has been featured in Huffington Post, Fast Company and others.
Tamara has hosted for LATV’s TV show, American Latino. She is also the host and co-producer of “Beauty on Wheels” a beauty and fashion show. She is also the producer and host of “See Beyond TV” a show covering interesting and disability inclusive content, encouraging people to see beyond people’s differences. Tamara recently landed a lead role as an actress in a comedy web series. She was also just awarded a scholarship from the respectable Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center, one of the leading acting and improvisation schools in the nation. The scholarship process was very competitive; she was one of the few selected out of +800 applicants. She is currently taking acting lessons at UCB and is so thrilled about it. Tamara is represented by KMR Agency in Los Angeles.
Tamara is passionate about her work and making her dreams come true, as she also hopes to advocate for others. Tamara and her fiancé, Chris Matysuk, were just featured in a nationwide TV commercial for Kay Jewelers for Valentine’s Day. They were selected amongst many couples for their beautiful love story! This as well is creating inclusion and diversity in the media, something Tamara, actively advocates for. She doesn’t let anything stop her from fighting for her ideals. She was recently featured as a odel and influencer in a great body positive campaign for Ipsy, and she was the only person in a wheelchair. Tamara is the first talent with a disability that Ipsy works with and she is thrilled to be able to represent her community and help promote more diversity.
Tamara recently entered for the first time the “2018 Easterseals Disability film Challenge” a short film competition, merging talent with AND without disabilities. She produced, co-wrote, AND acted in the short film “Rivals or Friends” a short film using buddy comedy to convey an important message to women; “competing less, and building each other up more, truly empowering one another.” Acting for less than a year, and being a first time participant of this challenge, Tamara was incredibly surprised and honored to be nominated for “Best Actor” in this challenge! And she was the only female nominee, something she’s so deeply proud, to be able to represent women.
Tamara has also created projects for a greater purpose such as the “Embrace You Project” to empower women of all walks of life. Tamara’s story, shared on many different platforms, has reached millions of people with her continuous determination to succeed. Tamara deeply appreciates her ability to speak because she lost her voice for some time after her accident when her lungs collapsed, a very difficult episode for her. She is fortunate to gain back her voice. For that reason, speaking up for a great purpose means so much to her, always. Tamara represents several important international companies and organizations such as Redbull, Tilite, Wings For Life foundation and their global annual run. She was also worked with Tommy Hilfiger, Ekso Bionics and others.
Tamara is also known as a social media influencer, empowering and motivating people of all walks of life to live life to the fullest even through her posts. On Instagram she has close to 50,000 followers. Please follow her journey on all social media platforms, “Tamara Mena Official” @tamaramenaofficial. Tamara continues to dream and fight for her goals and ideals and doesn’t give up. She hopes to break barriers, inspire change, and most of all, uplift and motivate many along the way to do the same. Believe, dream and achieve and never limit yourself.
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