MEET MAYA S. Penn, a 15-year-old philanthropist, environmental activist, entrepreneur, eco-designer, inspirational speaker, artist, animator, coder, illustrator and author recently honoured at the Black Girls Rock ceremony in the US.
When she was 8, Maya founded Maya’s Ideas, a company that creates eco-friendly clothing and accessories. Her designs are sold all over the world and up to 20 per cent of her profits go to local and global charities and environmental organisations.
Maya has been featured in respected publications, including CNN and the Huffington Post, and has done three TED Talks since she has been in business, with her TEDWomen Talk going viral clocking up over a million views.
“I am the youngest female to do two back-to-back official TEDTalks. I spoke at the launch of IBM Verse,” she said.
When Maya was four, her dad taught her how to take apart a computer and put it back together, sparking her love of technology.
She is also working on a project with her nonprofit where she has created eco-friendly sanitary pads for girls in developing countries and recently released her debut book, You Got This, where she shares details of her journey and gives readers tips on how tap into their creativity and find their passion.