Eight-year-old Solana Pullen doesn’t hesitate when you ask her what makes her special.
“My personality,” she says.
She says she’s proudly Mexican-African American, is a huge dog person, likes to travel and loves science. She also likes gymnastics, painting, drawing and still dances every day despite the pandemic and can’t wait to get back to her dance studio. She says COVID even forced her to miss her dance recital and a snowstorm in February messed up her birthday.
The Southfield girl stood out to the team at Metro Parent from the hundreds of photos of children submitted for the annual Metro Parent CoverKid contest. Her selection as the winner was delayed due to the pandemic, but it turns out she was the perfect choice for the March/April issue to illustrate the story about Gen Alpha and its push to help solve the world’s woes.
For her part, she has helped raise money for sick children and joins her parents in helping the homeless. She says she’s not sure what her future holds; “I’m still learning about my life and myself.”
Her advice to other kids: “Don’t stop believing in yourself and care for others.”
She says she liked being part of the cover shoot. “It was fun, and I also liked the clothes.” Luckily, the pinks in the shirt and hat she wore were her favorite colors.
Her dad, Stacey, says he’s most proud of her enthusiasm to learn about all different topics and how she does what she can to make sure people don’t ever feel left out. The Pullen family believes in diversity, and the lessons Solana learns at home is that everyone was created equal, something she embraces.
“We’ve tried to do what we can to raise her right and give her a great outlook on life,” he says.
When he looks to her future, he says he supports whatever she chooses. “For Solana, as long as she puts her mind to it and wanting to make a difference in life. A difference in respect goes a long way and having her have a big heart … that’s a really important trait. It’s the small little things that go a long way.”