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Maya Penn is a 17 year old award-winning eco-designer, artist, philanthropist, activist, entrepreneur, animated filmmaker, coder, illustrator, writer and author of You Got This! She has been featured in countless publications such as Forbes, Huffington Post, Seventeen Magazine, Cosmopolitan, The View, NPR,CNN, TIME, Essence Magazine, CBS This Morning with Gayle King, O Magazine, The Steve Harvey Show, Entrepreneur Magazine, Ebony, Black Enterprise, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and many, many more. Maya has given three TEDTalks and her latest TEDWomen Talk has gone viral worldwide and with almost 2 million views and growing. She is known as the youngest female to do two back-to-back official TEDTalks. Maya has been chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of her Supersoul 100 influencers. Google has partnered with Maya to speak to girls about coding and computer science at their Made With Code events. Magic Johnson chose Maya to be featured in his 32 Under 32 article series.


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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tweens need spiritual leaders!



Last Sunday I watched an episode of Oprah's "Super Soul Sunday". An amazing episode it was, with Gabrielle Bernstein, Mastin Kipp and Marie Forleo. I'm a huge fan of Gabby's. I was watching in between practicing my speech for TEDx Youth@ The Beltline which I would be speaking at the next day. In this episode Oprah Winfrey interviews three "up-and-coming" thought leaders from the next generation of spiritual thinkers. All in their 30's. and then it struck me: What about MY generation? The 10 to 19 year olds?
 
When you turn 10 you're official a "tween" which literally is short for between. You're in the middle of being a child and a teenager and you start slipping out of what your parents and teachers taught you and you start forming your own opinions about the world, how the world sees you, and how you see yourself, and how you want to be seen.  You were born unique, different from anyone on the planet, but this is when you start to make yourself an individual. A lot of kids between 10 and 13 start to slip through the cracks and they need to be reached. 

When I'm asked to speak to schools and girls organizations, I hear their stories. Stories  about how they've been bullied, abused at home, how they've been cutting themselves for the past months, and some not even alive to tell their stories, as they've committed suicide. 10 year olds should not be committing suicide. No one should.  I just heard a story on the news today about a 13 year old girl who stabbed her 2 year old half sister to DEATH, left her in the backyard and lied about it to her family. What is THAT about? What kids and teens really need are other KIDS or TEENS to talk to and relate with. 

We need our own thought leaders and gurus. I go in and uplift them, and give them a positive view in life, and I quote from the great Dr. Maya Angelou, "You should be a rainbow in somebodies cloud.". It would be great if Oprah did a Super Soul Sunday with just kids and teens talking and sharing their experiences, asking their own questions and giving their own answers, and uplifting and enlightening each other. If that ever happened I would LOVE to be a part of it. You can watch the episode HERE

Signing off for the night.
Blessings,
-Maya :)

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