Sometimes heroism starts at home, literally. That’s the theme of the Marvel’s Hero Project episode “Dynamic Daniella,” which introduces Marvel fans to Daniella and her heartwarming mission to provide homes for families who don’t have them.
A volunteer trip from her California school to build a house for a family in Mexico motivated Daniella to continue building for other families in need. She rallied her own family and friends and now, not only has she helped craft more than a dozen homes, she’s become a Marvel Comics superhero!
We spoke to Daniella about her Marvel’s Hero Project experience and the value of family. Learn more about her in our interview and watch the “Dynamic Daniella” episode of Hero Project on Disney+ here.
Nerdophiles: Where did your interest in Marvel superheroes begin? Do you have a favorite Marvel hero?
Daniella: I have always loved Marvel superhero movies with my family growing up. My favorite hero is Spider-Man because he is easier to relate to, being a young person trying to help and save others!
NP: Your Hero Project story is unique because you started through a volunteer project. What was that like and how did it inspire you to start your own work?
Daniella: When I was in seventh grade my school, Notre Dame Academy, had sponsored the building of a home by raising the $16,000 needed to take a family from living in a shack to living in a furnished house. My mom made us go down to Tijuana to help build that home, and that day is when my life changed.
I couldn’t believe what I had seen and knew I wanted to do more to help others. I came home and decided that I wanted to build my own home, and then I decided to commit to heading the building of at least one home a year. I have been able to do even more than that with the help of my teams.
NP: What’s your favorite memory from the volunteer work that you’ve done?
Daniella: My favorite memory is when I brought several of my best friends down with me for their first time, and got to finally connect with my friends on a deeper level and share my deep passion with them. It was amazing to see how inspired they got, and now we are all bonded with this experience and they try to come down each time I go.
NP: What does it mean to you that you get to help others not just by yourself, but with your younger brother and your friends?
Daniella: Doing this with the people I love makes this experience so much better because we get to all share this amazing experience that opens our eyes to another world, that is just across the border and allows us to grow closer doing something outside of ourselves.
NP: What advice would you give to people who watch your Marvel’s Hero Project episode and want to get involved?
Daniella: If you are inspired, don’t just sit down. Stand up and do something about it! Push yourself, even if something is challenging because you never know what you can accomplish when you don’t give up on your passions and what it can lead to.
NP: How amazing was it to become a Marvel superhero?
Daniella: It was a very special moment in my life because I was doing this never expecting anything in return. And being associated with Marvel and Disney is a dream come true!
New episodes of Marvel’s Hero Project stream Tuesdays on Disney+.