Maria Myers, 17, is the co-founder and CEO of Pretty Purposeful, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit she founded four years ago. She is passionate about sustainable development, women’s rights, and ending obstetric fistula. Besides running all of the marketing, social media and sales for her nonprofit, she also works as an independent graphic designer and social media marketing strategist. Her work has been featured by Virgin.com, Bobbi Brown, and Eric Hutchinson. She has been interviewed on live TV for U.S. and Asian media outlets and featured in many newspaper articles and magazines. She has participated in competitive speech and debate for 4 years, placing in the top 10% nationally in several events. She is a Teen Attorney with the Southlake Metroport Teen Court program. Maria and her sister were recognized as the Southlake Youth of the Year for 2014. She has been playing Piano for 10 years and studied at the Southern Methodist University Institute for Young Pianists, performing in Caruth Concert Hall. She also holds a black belt in Taekwondo.
Maria spoke at the 2014 United Nations Youth Assembly on the Global Partnerships panel and discussed her nonprofit and ways young people can make a difference. In 2015, she led a workshop at the United Nations Youth Assembly focused on empowering youth to start their own initiatives, and in 2016 she spoke on youth involvement in achieving the SDGs at International Youth Day at the UN.
Maria was recognized by the We Are Family Foundation as a 2016 Global Teen Leader for her work with women’s health. Last summer she studied at MIT Launch. She is currently the Program Manager at the Capital Markets Global Summit at the United Nations.