Active in the arts as a teen, Orangeburg native Monique Coleman wrote, produced, directed and starred in her own show at fifteen, followed by an appearance in the Family Channel movie presentation, “The Ditchdigger’s Daughters,” for which she received a Young Artist Award nomination.
Thus began her prolific career as a performing artist with award-winning roles in television shows and films, and as an online talk show host.
She’s best known as the brainy best friend “Taylor McKessie” on the mega hit “High School Musical” movies and for placing 4th on Season 3 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Coleman has also played roles in the Hallmark Television movie, “The Reading Room,” which garnered a 2006 Camie Award; “Boston Public,” “Veronica Mars,” “Bones,” and PBS’ “The Electric Company.” She was also the voice of “Fontasia” in the animated series “Cleveland” on the Fox network. Her artistic accomplishments led to other awards such as the NAACP 2010 Legacy Award, and recognition from Teen Choice, and Billboard.
Coleman recently has parlayed her own star-powered youth into a Mo’vement to inspire this generation. Coleman is the Founder, CEO, and executive producer of “GimmeMo.com,” an online talk show dedicated to empowering young people by raising awareness of pressing issues facing youth and encouraging their civic engagement. The show serves as a platform for youth to participate in open discussions about teen homelessness, obesity, environmental issues, body image, sex, drugs and other compelling issues.
She also was named the first UN Youth Champion in 2010 by the United Nations for the International Year of the Youth, the first person to receive the award. She traveled the world for the first 6 months of 2011 on behalf of the United Nations. Traveling to 24 countries, she met with government officials, thousands of youth, and volunteered with organizations such as UNICEF, UNHCR, and small local youth led organizations. The DePaul University alumna credits her mother, Roz Coleman, as her biggest inspiration.