Hannika Shellings was raised in Daytona Beach, FL and knows firsthand how to overcome an emotionally traumatic childhood. It all began when her father abandoned the family while she was in grade school. In middle school, at the age of 12, Hannika found out she was adopted; and, with no identifying information on her biological parents, she has yet to learn anything about them. These incidences caused Hannika to suffer from depression, as well as low self-esteem, and set her on a path of self-destruction that ended with spending 30 days in Volusia county jail. While in jail, Hannika reflected on her life and knew she needed to start making better choices. Thus, her time spent there became the catalyst on her journey to heal herself.
Upon being released, Hannika began reshaping her narrative. She applied and was accepted to Florida International University, earning a BS in Hospitality Management. Upon obtaining her degree, she blossomed in both her personal life and professional career working for hotels in the Miami, FL area, such as: W Miami and Fontainebleau. Her work ethic and relationship building skills enabled her to grow into a Front Office Manager position at The Westin Sarasota. All the while, though, Hannika had a larger vision to help young adults successfully navigate their challenges so they, too, are empowered to change their destiny.
Having obtained her MA in 2014 from Florida International University in Public Administration, Hannika embarked on a new journey rooted in her childhood misadventures and her belief that social and emotional intelligence combine to make a highly effective leader. It dawned on her that had she made choices based in empathy, thoughtful reflecting, and fostering relationships, her journey would not have passed through Volusia County Jail. Yet, it is that journey that helps fuel her mission that is based in humanization, vulnerability, and transparency. Hannika’s goal is to cultivate the social and emotional intelligence of young girls so they will become leaders – Leaders in Pink.