Ciara Marie' Hardy carries the sign of Leo the lion exemplifying leadership, integrity, and decisiveness. Ciara was born on August 17, 1976 in Chicago, Il. and raised in Decatur, Ga. She recognized her vocal abilities at the age of 11 when she auditioned and was accepted to Avondale High School of Performing Arts. She later transferred to Northside High School of Performing Arts, where she was a member of the world renowned Northside Tour Show. In her last two years of college preparatory, she became focused on her academic qualities and attended Chamblee High School for High Achievers where she later graduated in 1994. During her years at Chamblee, Ciara was the school's first African-American Ms. Junior (1992 - 1993), Vice-president of Ladies' Connections, Secretary of the Future Teachers' of America, a member of the advanced Concert Choir, a peer encourager for the Peer Encouragement Group, a big sister for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, first runner up to Homecoming Queen (1993-1994), and the only African-American youg lady that was chosen as one of the "Seniors' Best."