Maya is a 16-year-old CEO, designer and activist. At the early age of 8-years-old the young designer created Maya’s Ideas. According to the Atlanta Black Star, Penn’s eco-friendly clothes and accessories are sold internationally, including in Denmark, Italy and Australia. They are hand-made out of organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and vintage silks and wools.
Grist reported that Penn gives 10 to 20 percent of her proceeds to global charities including Live Thrive Atlanta and the Captain Planet Foundation. Along with combing her love for fashion and the environment into Maya Idea’s, she has also be an active animator and public speaker.
In 2013, she conducted her first TED talk, which had over one million views. In an interview with Ebony Magazine, the designer explained her enthusiasm for young CEO’s. “I think young people are realizing you can create opportunities for yourself. You find something you love and turn it into business.”