Once known as one of Arizona’s most premier television & radio personality, my life wasn’t always glitz and glam. But as I look back at my professional achievements, they become even more impressive when I consider the difficult and traumatic backdrop that was my childhood. A New York native, I was the first-born child to drug addicted young mother living in an unstable environment. For years I was abused, neglected and even sex trafficked by my mother until she lost her life in a drunk driving accident days before my 7th Birthday. With no family relative willing to take me in, I was placed into the foster care system where I suffered even more physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
Growing up, I had very little access to regular meals, appropriate clothing and a proper education as I was moved in and out of various group homes. At the age of 15, feeling defeated and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, I picked up what little belongings I owned and hitchhiked to Rochester, New York.
After several years of slowly healing, I found myself living with a friend in her college dorm. For the first time in my life I had some resemblance of stability. And with that stability, I was able to garner enough confidence to start applying for college myself knowing it would be an uphill battle since I lacked a proper grade school education. But my tenacity and ambition to make something of myself eventually led me to choose journalism as the career that I wanted to pursue. Over the next couple of years, I would obtain multiple Associates Degrees before eventually getting accepted into the prestigious Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
My first career opportunity came in college as the host of the “Messiah Music Mix” on 1280 AM radio. But the first business endeavor to solidify my place in Arizona’s marketing and social networking was the creation of the 4.1.1 Effect. The 4.1.1 Effect brought together local vendors, businesses and organizations; helping to rebuild and re-develop Phoenix’s economy. Shortly after graduating in 2011, I immediately went to work on my professional brand.
In 2011, Real Talk Enterprise was established. With the creation of my own media company, I was able to use my prior experiences, skills and educational training for promotions, event planning and social media networking & marketing. Through my enterprise, “Real Talk with Louanna” was born. After interviewing some of the most pivotal and influential people around the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, as well as countless celebrities “Real Talk with Louanna” quickly rose to fame.
In 2014, I was given one of my biggest opportunities to become an on-air radio personality, co-hosting “The BeatLocker” alongside Pokaface & DJ Marvel on 101.1 The Beat. Over the next couple of years, I watched my dream of being on television start to come into fruition. I was able a land a hosting gig on a show called “AZ in the Know.” Shortly afterwards, I was able to increase my television audience by partnering with AZTV to bring “Real Talk with Louanna” to their network. With my voice on the radio and my face now on television, my brand was growing fast. I found myself being able to just into the entertainment world. I was being independently contracted to cover major events such as Celebrity Fight Night, the BET Awards, the Soul Train Awards, etc.
In mid-2018, I moved back to New York City, where I rekindled a love connection with my soulmate, Desmond Miller. That’s when I decided that I would leave the spotlight of the entertainment world and transition Real Talk Enterprises into a Digital Marketing & Branding Company that would primarily focus on helping other businesses and brands get more exposure. Later that year, when Desmond got an opportunity to Los Angeles, I decided to make that move across country with him.
The move to Los Angeles marked a new chapter in my life. In July of 2019, Desmond and I became engaged. With my love life blossoming and business doing okay, I was ready to get back into radio and television. But right as I began reaching out to companies, I found out that we were pregnant with our first child, Laila Marí Miller.
Because of my brutal childhood, the thought of becoming a mother myself sent me into a whirlwind of emotions. But one thing was for certain, I was determined to give my daughter a loving childhood, the childhood that I never had.
When asked about my experience as a mother,
“I didn’t want to be like my birth mother and how I would raise my own daughter would reflect that. To this day, I still have my own issues from all the neglect and abuse that I suffered through but with the love and support of my husband and daughter we get through them together. Laila is now 6 months old and is my world. Being a mom is the greatest gift that I could’ve ever asked for. After years of desperately trying to fit in and create families with foster homes and people who mistreated me, I can finally say I have my own family that truly loves me.