My name is Ellie Monique Matus. I am 13 years old and live in the small town of Royersford in eastern Pennsylvania. This year I am an eighth-grade cyber student at the Pa Leader Charter School in West Chester, Pa. I have two brothers, Jacob who is 21 and Tucker who is 20, and I have a sister McKenna who is 17. I also have a big crazy dog named Lacey and two cats named Jingles and Fig. My home is a very busy place!
In addition to being a student, I am proud to say that I am a model, a dancer, an actress and a philanthropist. My interest in the industry began about 5 years ago when I had a part in a small play for Drama Kids International, and from there I started taking a few acting classes. Headshots followed, a few small modeling jobs, and I knew I loved both acting and modeling. My love for dancing came from my years as a competitive gymnast. When I was 8 I was an all-around state champion gymnast, but the year after I grew so much and switched to dance full time. I have been in love with dance ever since. It is one of my greatest passions.
I am currently a pre-professional member of the Klassic Contemporary Ballet Company in Philadelphia. I have spent the past two summers training with the Company and performing at the Fringe Festival in the Fall. I hope to continue to be a part of the Company and transition into the professional Company. I am also a member of the Dance Depot Competition Team. As a team member I train all year long in Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Lyrical, and Jazz, learning advanced technique and choreography. This year I am competing two solo, one trio, and four group dances. Last year I performed a solo dedicated to the victims of Parkland, and was awarded the Junior Miss Beyond the Stars title for my performance. I was so happy to not only dance well but to raise awareness at the same time.
From the first times I modeled when I was younger, I knew that it was something I had a passion for. I started small with a few local photographers, progressed to doing some small runway shows, and recently walked at both New York Fashion Week and LA Fashion Week. I also have walked in the charity Runway show AIMS, which raises awareness for autoimmune diseases. I have shot bathing suits in a mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, fun activewear in Bryant Park, modern glamour in a snowstorm in Alaska, and most recently beautiful gowns at sunrise in the hot sand dunes of Glamis, California. I absolutely love all of it! I feel so lucky to have been named the Face of Fashion Passport and to be connected to the company at the ground level.
I love acting and being on commercial, TV, and movie sets. One of my favorite experiences was shooting an FTD commercial this past Valentine's Day. It was a really long day of shooting but it was so much fun and so worth it—I couldn’t believe it when I saw myself on TV during the Super Bowl and the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics!! I have also been lucky enough to work on many TV sets, my absolute favorite being on Divorce with Sarah Jessica Parker. She was the nicest person and told me how well I did when I was working with her. I also worked for about three weeks on set of The Greatest Showman. I worked with the awesome Director Michael Gracey and of course the amazing and kind actors Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams and Zendaya. Watching behind the scenes and then seeing it all come together in the theaters was so incredible! I have learned so much and really feel comfortable and love being in that environment.
As a middle school student, I saw and experienced a lot of bullying and students, girls especially, being unkind to one another instead of supporting one another. With that in mind, my sister and I created the movement called G4G4L (Girls for Girls for Life). We are trying to encourage girls to unite and stand together in strength so they can all be successful. Instead of letting the people in my life tear me down, I chose to stand up for myself and I want to encourage others to do the same. I want to grow G4G4L and spread the message because I know this is something girls struggle with every day. Giving back is very important to me and I want to incorporate that into my future in many ways. Last year at NYFW I worked together with an awesome group from Gianna Nicole Media and Fashion Passport to collect and distribute Blessing Bags to the homeless of NYC. I was so excited about how many people from around the world wanted to give back and make a difference with me. When we spent the day walking the streets of NYC and watched how grateful the special people were who received them, I realized I wanted to do more and continue to give back whenever I could.
One person can make difference.
This is me.