TLC has announced the premiere and cast of A Model Life with Petra Nemcova, a new America's Next Top Model-like reality series that will follow six aspiring runway walkers from around the world as they learn to excel on the catwalk.

A Model Life is scheduled to premiere Friday, July 13 at 10PM ET on TLC.

Supermodel Petra Nemcova, a 28-year-old originally from the Czech Republic who graced the cover of the 2003 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, will play Tyra Banks' Top Model role for A Model Life.  She'll serve as both a mentor and friend to the six aspiring models featured in the series, who will be evaluated by New York City's NEXT Model Management.

"This is to help these young girls, help them achieve their dreams," Nemcova told Reuters on Thursday.  "They learn a lot about other cultures, about modeling , overcoming adversity, appreciating what we have and freedom."

Nemcova more recently made headlines for surviving the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, which triggered a series of tsunamis that are believed to have killed more than 200,000 people.   She told Reuters she plans on drawing from that experience to help the aspiring models.

"After the tsunami everything I do has to have some kind of meaning -- either inspirational or for charity -- otherwise I just won't do it,"  Nemcova told Reuters.  "If you focus on the good things you can become stronger and happier but if you focus on the bad things you can go down in a spiral. We can all overcome adversity."

In each one-hour episode of A Model Life, the six girls will try to survive the often catty and always tiresome business of modeling by dealing with regular obstacles of the industry, from demanding photographers and clothing designers to contradictory agents and nutritionists.  The six girls will be tested by NEXT through a variety of photo shoots for the opportunity to strut their stuff during New York Fashion Week.  At the conclusion of A Model Life's broadcast run, NEXT will determine how many of the six models deserve a contract with the agency.

The six models competing on A Model Life -- as well as their TLC-supplied bios -- are:

- Angelika,  a socially-conscious, strong-willed woman who wants to change the world and make it a better place for everyone. She is musician and songwriter. For most of her young life, she shunned her beauty, thinking it only represented her vanity but now she's accepted the fact that she can possibly turn her looks into a financial reward. She hopes to succeed in the modeling business so that she can help her family.

- Valeria, a smart, sophisticated, and genuine girl with a great sense of humor and energy. She lives life to the fullest, which is a combination of her Russian heritage and her Australian culture. It was only four years ago that her family moved from Russia to Australia, yet she has no Russian accent, only a pure Australian accent. She sees Petra as her role model and would like her own career to mirror Petra's. This is especially interesting because of her physical resemblance to Petra, something which has many referring to her as "the baby Petra".

- Michelle, a 20-year-old who lives with her parents on a 19 acre farm in a very small town. Her family breeds horses and cows. As she describes it, she lives in the middle of nowhere. Michelle was discovered by a local talent agent who then forwarded her pictures to a modeling agency in NY.

- Beatrice, spirited, bold, and passionate about life, she very much embodies the Latin culture;. She loves to dance, party with friends, and travel. She's 16-years-old and lives in a big city in Central Brazil with her mother and older brother. Although her parents divorced when she was very young, she remains very tight with her father. Her bold and adventurous nature has lead her to travel to other countries by herself at a very young age. Modeling is in her blood and she hopes to make a living in this profession so that she will be able help out her family and travel the world.

- Lucia, an 18-year-old girl who is driven, opinionated, and very vocal, especially about her career. At the age of 5 she saw Cindy Crawford for the first time and immediately told her parents that she wanted to be a supermodel. When her mother suggested that learning to speak English would give her a better chance of making it in the business, she made learning English her top priority.

- Abigail, a 16-years-old who attends private school, she is very active in her church group, and is a classically trained musician who plays a variety of instruments including clarinet, saxophone, flugelhorn, and piano. She is extremely close with her mother who is supportive of her modeling endeavors. Even though she won a UK modeling search last year, she claims that she needs to work on her self-confidence.