Caribbean Teenager Wows ‘America’s Got Talent’

Dominican Republican-born teenager Amanda Mena is turning out to be quite the sensation on the television show “America’s Got Talent” (AGT).

Mena AmandaLast month, 15-year-old Mena delivered a stirring rendition of “A Natural Woman”, a song made famous by legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin.

The magnificent performance, coupled with Mena’s story of overcoming bullies starting, earned a Golden Buzzer acknowledgement from Mel B, a AGT judge and a former member of the Spice Girls group. That means she advanced to AGT’s live shows.

According to Mena, she moved to the U.S. at age four, where she struggled to assimilate into American culture. She spoke not “a word of English” when she arrived. That and other factors, she explained, made her resilient.

“I got bullied a lot,” Mena said. “So all that kinda gave me tough skin.”

It showed on stage and earned high praise from the judges.

“This is what I’m going to say to all those bullies,” Mel B said, then pushed the Golden Buzzer.

Mena is no stranger to talent shows. At age 11 she won “La Voz (The Voice) Kids” on Telemundo, the Spanish-language network.