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Eco-Friendly Designer, Coder, CEO, is only 14

Saturday, March 1st, 2014 by Ravneet Kaur Sandhu

Maya Shea Penn is a remarkable fourteen year-old girl from Atlanta, Georgia. Her already impressive feats include, but are not limited to, being a CEO of her own company, Maya Ideas, which she started at the age of eight and which only uses eco-friendly fabrics for her hand-crafted clothing designs, as well as building her own website, using JavaScript and HTML5.

kidpreneur-maya-penn-on-starting-up-and-giving-back

Before she was thirteen, she was not heading her own company as an entrepreneur, but also was a philanthropist, designer, artist, animator, illustrator and writer.

Maya first decided to transform her hobby of making combinations of materials found at home into a business when she got compliments about her self-made headbands. She also states that, from the beginning, she wanted her business not to harm the environment and to devote a percentage of her earnings to charities. She stuck to both promises.

In the true spirit of any dedicated entrepreneur,Maya says, ‘I started my business out of curiosity.’

Maya is home schooled and believes that this allows her to customize her day in a way where she can focus on her thriving business, her studies, and her social life.

She credits both of her parents for the amazing person she is today. Her mother taught her to sew. When she was four years old, her father taught her how to take apart a computer and assemble it back together. That’s where her love of technology began.

I feel I’m a part of New-Age entrepreneurs who that not only seek to have a successful business but also sustainable future. I feel that I can meet the needs of my customers without compromising the ability of future generations to live in a greener tomorrow,” says this impressive teenager.

She has also started a non-profit organization, called Maya’s Ideas for the Planet, that strives to help the community, spread environmental awareness and encourage young girls to follow their dreams in non-traditional fields. She is a contributing writer for Livethrive.org in a column called Ask The Expert which answers queries about the environment. Honored as an entrepreneur at the 2012 SCLC Women’s 33rd Annual Drum Major for Justice Awards in the Youth Category, she also plans to release her web-series called the Pollinators, which includes a bad-ass superhero team of pollinators. Superhero team of pollinators fighting against those trying to hurt the environment. Maya believes cartoons are a fun way to learn about serious topics, such as environmental degradation. Her passion for animation started when she was around three-years-old, when she started to make small flip books and became curious about how cartoons are made. An animation series about small viruses in a computer, called the Malicious Dishes, is another of Maya’s upcoming plans.

We live in a big, diverse and beautiful world and that makes me even more passionate to save it.” Simple but powerful words from Maya Penn.

You can see Maya’s website at mayasideas.com and read her writing at livethrive.org.

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