"Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come, we have only today, let us begin to make a change. I''m very proud of what Maya is doing and I know she is part of the new generation fighting for a better future for generations to come." paraphrased quote from Mother Theresa and by Deidre Penn, Maya's mother
I am Maya Penn. I’m a 13 year old entrepreneur, philanthropist, public speaker, artist, and a proud member of the iMatter Youth Council. I speak at schools and kids/teens organizations and teach them about why saving the environment and reversing global warming is of great importance and what we can all do to save the planet.
It's our world, and we all live in it, why shouldn't we take care of it? The fact that everyone and every creature has been blessed with a big, diverse, and beautiful world to live in makes me even more passionate to save it from destruction.
The smallest actions can lead to the BIGGEST changes. I believe anybody and everybody can make a difference.
My name is Maya, I am 13 years old, and I matter.
start it up!
I started my own eco-friendly business when I was 8 years old.
Find out what you can do.
I started my organization, Maya's Ideas, when I was 8 years old. My mom taught me to sew. My dad taught me a lot about solar energy and environmental issues, so when I started doing my own research about fabric and clothing, I found out how the chemical dyes in clothing can be destructive for people and the planet. I wanted to help the environment with my business and immediately knew it had to be eco-friendly.
I knew two things when I started my business. 1: All of my items had to be eco-friendly and I had to use materials that didn’t harm the environment, and 2: 10-20% of the profits I made went to local and global charities and environmental organizations.
What do you enjoy doing? Whatever it is, you can make a difference by keeping in mind our responsibility to protect the environment.
My voice matters. So does yours!
There are many ways you can make your voice heard about things you believe in, like writing, blogging, making videos, public speaking, giving presentations. You CAN make a difference in the world. I write blogs for The Ian Somerhalder Foundation, a column called Ask The Expert for Livethrive.org, and for iMatter about protecting the environment, standing up for what you believe in, and taking leadership. I also create animated films and regularly do speaking engagements. We all need to do everything we can to help the planet. I may be one person, but the smallest actions can lead to the biggest changes, That’s why everyone should get involved with saving our environment and giving back to our communities through doing what you love.
I signed up for the iMatter Youth Council because I want my voice to be heard about the climate crisis.
Together with other youth, parents, grandparents, teachers, and others across the nation, I will be organizing an iMatter March on September 28, 2013. March with me in my community in Georgia, or sign up to lead one in your own community to let the world now that OUR FUTURE MATTERS! It's time to take action to protect our planet for ours and future generations. Get your walking shoes on!
Press and Interviews:
I have been featured in the following publications and programs
Honored as an entrepreneur at the 2012 SCLC Women's 33rd Annual Drum Major for Justice Awards in the Youth Category. Honored along with actor and Humanitarian Sean Penn, Actor Samuel L. Jackson and his wife Latanya Richardson, CNN News Anchor Don Lemon,Rev. Al Sharpton, Justice Robert Benham and Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson.
Panelist/speaker at the Economic Empowerment Summit at Agnes Scott College that was being presented by the National Center for Civil and Human Rights for teen age girls.