Charlotte Ayanna was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but moved to Vermont at an early age. She had a troubled childhood, spending 13 years in foster homes after her mother, Emma, was judged to be mentally unfit to look after her and her two siblings. In 1994, at age 17, she was adopted into a foster home. She has since become a spokeswoman for foster children.
She changed her last name to Ayanna when she learned that Lopez was the last name of her maternal grandfather, who she discovered abandoned her mother.
Her first national exposure was in 1993, when she became Miss Teen USA. Charlotte co-authored a book titled "Lost in the System," published in 1996, detailing her childhood and subsequent rise to Miss Teen USA. She later changed her last name to "Ayanna," meaning "blessed" in Cherokee.
Following her pageant victory, she made guest appearances on television shows including "Weird Science" and "Entourage." She also appeared in the music video for fellow Puerto Rican Ricky Martín's hit "She's All I Ever Had."
Her film roles include "Jawbreaker," "The Rage: Carrie 2," "Dancing at the Blue Iguana," "Kate & Leopold," "Training Day" (as Ethan Hawke's wife) and "Love the Hard Way" with Adrien Brody. She also starred with Sean Patrick Flanery as the sexy vampiress in the horror-made-for-DVD movie "The Insatiable."
All American Speakers is a speakers bureau and booking agency providing information on booking Charlotte Ayanna for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Charlotte Ayanna speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next event.
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