Get ready, Bachelor Nation—2021's second Bachelorette is so close to starting her journey to find love. Michelle Young, 28, first turned heads when she nearly captured Matt James' heart on The Bachelor, but she ultimately finished as his runner-up. Now, she's ready to clink some glasses and break some hearts as the next Bachelorette.
Michelle is the franchise's second Black Bachelorette, following in Rachel Lindsay's footsteps. Filming has wrapped, the spoilers are already rolling in, and everyone gets to see Michelle meet her men on TV Oct. 19—but before you dive into the gossip, just who is ABC's newest leading lady, anyway?
Read up on Michelle's backstory pre-reality TV, and everything she's been up to since The Bachelorette filming wrapped. Here’s what you need to know about Michelle Young before her season starts on Oct. 19th:
Michelle is a teacher.
She works at an elementary school in Minnesota, according to her Bachelorette bio, and she "focuses on preparing her students to be the next generation of community leaders." Apparently, Michelle is really, really dedicated to her job, and she clearly cares a lot about her students, based on her Instagram.
And, the filming for her season was reportedly delayed so she could finish off the school year with her students and not miss one lesson. (Yep, she's got her priorities straight.) Michelle is also set to get a very nice paycheck for her time filming The Bachelorette.
Michelle is super athletic.
This Bachelorette was a Division I basketball player in college. (Go, Michelle!) She played guard at Bradley University and won all kinds of awards, like being named Player of the Week several times, according to her college bio.
She didn't let practice get in the way of her studies, though. She also made the honor roll pretty much the entire time she was in college.
And, Michelle can still drop and give anyone 10 or 20 push-ups or school them on the court.
She knows exactly what she's looking for in her future husband.
And the guys competing for her heart this season better be prepared. "Michelle has big dreams for the future and says she wants a man by her side that is supportive and driven to make the world a better place," her ABC bio reads. "She is looking for the Superman to her Superwoman and is ready to find a love with whom she can start a family of her own."
That's a tall order!
In the first official promo for her season, Michelle adds, "I'm looking for someone who's going to change their world with me. I'm ready."
Tbh? The guys seem pretty well prepared for the challenge. In another promo, they gushed about the next Bachelorette and really brought their A-games on night one:
Michelle "leaned into her heart" this season.
Co-host Tayshia Adams teased that Michelle gave it her all as The Bachelorette. “I don’t think we’ve seen an ending like what happens in a couple of seasons,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “We’ve seen a lot… there’s a lot of highs and lows. All good things."
Tayshia added that “she definitely leaned in to her heart, and put it out on the line, and that’s all you can ask for from a ‘Bachelorette.'"
And, she has plenty of support from recent Bachelorette Katie Thurston.
Last season's Bachelorette, Katie Thurston, had some words of advice for Michelle, going into filming. "I think the biggest advice I've given her is to just be open. Don't close yourself off too early. I think guys can surprise you... weeks later when you don't expect it," Katie told Entertainment Tonight. (Here's hoping it's a happy surprise, unlike Katie's surprise breakup with early frontrunner Greg Grippo.)
Michelle credits her mom for teaching her about being a strong woman.
Michelle shared two adorable throwback pics with her mom for International Women's Day. "'STRONG women raise STRONG women.' 💪🏽🖤Huge shout out to my mom on International Women’s Day for showing me the ropes!" she wrote in the caption.
Plus, she has a serious sweet tooth.
In fact, Michelle shared a photo with a giant bowl of ice cream on Instagram to prove it. She wrote: "Anyone else try to convince their parents that they had two stomachs when they were younger? One for regular food and one for dessert? 😜"
Michelle denounced racism with the rest of the season 25 cast.
She and her fellow contestants shared a groundbreaking statement in response to Chris Harrison's interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. After the host defended fellow contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's past racist actions, the women of Matt James' season felt compelled to speak out against racism within the franchise.
"We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism. Any defense of racist behaviors denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized," their statement reads, which Michelle posted on her Instagram Stories.
"Rachel Lindsay continues to advocate with 'grace' for individuals who identify as BIPOC within this franchise. Just because she is speaking the loudest, doesn't mean she is alone. We stand with her, we hear her, and we advocate for change alongside her."
And stay tuned for all of the roses, the group dates, and the drama during the premiere of Michelle's season on Oct. 19th on ABC.