by MIKE CHAIKEN
Larissa Melville’s story in the world of modeling is about a story about overcoming adversity.
A foster child until she was 4, Larissa said four of years of visitation caused her to develop selective mutism.
Larissa– who was adopted together with her brother– said, ”My mom worked hard to help me overcome (the selective mutism). I was a very quiet child and got bullied a lot.”
“When I was 13, my mom signed me up for modeling to help build my confidence,” said Larissa, 15. “Once I started modeling, I realized that it was something I loved.”
“I felt like I changed once I got on the runway,” said Larissa. “Standing on the runway makes me feel strong and confident.”
Larissa is a recent winner at Magnifique Showcase, which is a modeling competition organized by Victoria Henley, a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model.”
The 10th grader said she is currently homeschooled because she has epilepsy. She has seizures every night as she sleeps.
Her epilepsy, said Larissa, inspired a fashion line she is launching. She said she calls it is called “Rock the Purple: Hope for Epilepsy.”
“When you have a dream, don’t let anything hold you back,” said Larissa. “Enjoy the journey and be open to new possibilities.”