Meet the Homegirl: Maya Brady-Ngugi
Activist, NYC Says Enough
Words by Hesper Khong
Eighteen-year-old Maya Brady-Ngugui Maya isn’t your typical teen from New York. She’s proud and unapologetic, whether she’s behind a podium, speaking her truth into a megaphone, or organizing protests. There’s something about the way she speaks that makes you feel like she’s charged with electricity.
That’s because when most other children were dreaming of who they wanted to be, Maya was actively striving to ensure that everyone had an equal chance to achieve their dreams. When other children were crying because their toys had broken, Maya was shedding tears for the people of color whose lives were lost to discrimination. When other children were delighted to be receiving gifts from loved ones, Maya was elated because she knew her activism gave the opportunity of equality to everyone in society.
Since she was ten, Maya had been deeply invested in becoming an impactful, uplifting activist. Ever since then, she’s has worked assiduously to achieve this purpose. Maya continuously acts upon her caring, instinctive nature and remains fearless in the face of bigotry.
Maya’s community fuels her with weapons essential for change--genuine love and an empowering education. Maya strives to give back to the community that nurtured her.. She recently implemented a program that provides aid towards the growth of her peers and elementary students through a curriculum based on supporting students academically and emotionally.
To further her experience as an activist. Maya became involved in NYC Says Enough, an organization that gives an outlet for young people to speak out against gun access and the violence that derives from it. Through their gatherings and speeches, Maya was able to meet other young activists and understand their mindsets. This has sparked projects of her own.
For example, Maya was inspired by her family’s rich and diverse heritage. She began a collaborative, annual history event that illustrates the perspectives of the diaspora culture and history that are normally ignored in school classes.
As a woman of African-American, Jamaican, and Native American descent, Maya is aware of the cruel and inhumane circumstances that permeated the lives of her ancestors. Their experiences, knowledge, and respect for other heritages have allowed Maya to envision an unified world filled with peace. She hopes that together, we can learn from the mistakes of the past. Preceding generations have taught her that it’s time for our generation to find solutions that embolden the changes we so badly need.
However, rather than conform to the narrow mindsets of other individuals or believe that the best solution is to remain silent, Maya encourages us to remain dedicated to civic engagement.
By perpetually learning, listening, and encouraging others to stand united in this movement, Maya hopes to implement influential, effective reforms that reflect compassion in every institution in our planet.