Mentor to ‘Rising Stars’ Came Through School of Extra-hard Knocks

Published: Mon Aug 29 2005

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Toni Shelton grew up in the low end of Chicago – the "Hood." – and had everything go wrong that could go wrong, but refused to let that stop her from pursuing her goal of success.

Never knowing her father, she found the body of her mother when she was just 7, and was then raised by her grandmother until her death when Shelton was 17. She has been on her own ever since.

Shelton did what she had to do as a single mother of four children, including work on the back of a garbage truck for a time. Her goal of success as a model and entrepreneur has always been her driving force and kept her going through thick and thin.

She became a hero of sorts in her community as she stood up to the system when her brother was brutally attacked and left for dead. She not only nursed him back to health, she lost a sister at the same time and stayed strong through it all to rally her neighborhood and community resulting in the apprehension and imprisonment of the men who committed the crime.

Shelton’s many efforts to give back to her community won her the "2001 Women Who Make A Difference Award" presented by the Make a Difference Youth Foundation. She never gives up, and she never allows the challenges of life to stop her pursuit of her goals and aspirations for herself and her children.

Through many ups and downs she paid her dues, learned the ropes, and found success for herself and is now helping her children achieve their dreams, and through her new book she hopes to help many more.

"Rising Star" (ISBN 1-4134-6235-9, Xlibris) breaks down every aspect of the modeling business and offers readers an overview of the industry, as well as a realistic method to assess the characteristics needed to succeed.

"I teach the essentials, such as building the right relationships with agents, managers, photographers, stylists, makeup artists, and others. Your preparation and attitude are key ingredients to success," explained Shelton.

Shelton is an industry expert who has worked as a model, photographer, agent, manager, and now assists others achieve their dreams as a modeling consultant. All four of her children are working models appearing in national print ads.

Her son Dave Dylan is featured in a dynamic portrait on the cover of the book. At just 18, Dylan has a promising career in front of him and is an example of the rising stars Shelton writes about. Dylan has been in many national advertising campaigns, and he is gaining attention as a model, actor, and rapper.

"Rising Star" is a must for parents who are considering modeling for their children, as well as for young people just getting started in this competitive, but rewarding career. Experienced models and actors will find new ideas, advice, and ways to polish their skills.

"Rising Star" is available through on-line bookstores and directly from

Available at

Toni Shelton

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