Teen Changemaker: Maya Grebowsky
Every month, Michal Tucker will be doing a feature story on a teen changemaker - a person seeking to bring about change to the world through activism, leadership, and creativity. Check out her first article in this series, an interview with Zikora of GenZ HER. In this article, Michal interviews Maya Grebowsky, founder of a startup nonprofit called Giving to Silver Spring.
Meet the amazing Maya Grebowsky, the Founder and Executive Director of Giving to Silver Spring, a social venture dedicated to providing women with essential items and toiletries to help them through financial struggles. In this interview, Maya expresses the significance of female-empowerment, some challenges that come with being a young changemaker, and a few useful tips for teens looking to make a difference in their community!
1. Introduce yourself!
My name is Maya Grebowsky and I am 16. I am a junior at Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. I am most interested in politics and social justice. I am the vice president of the Young Democrats club at my school and the event coordinator of the Black Student Union.
2. What is Giving to Silver Spring? What is your mission and objective? What issue are you hoping to address?
Giving to Silver Spring is a project I started to empower women in poverty. Women are the most affected by poverty and many people in low-income situations have no or limited access to toiletries, food and other basic supplies. I am on a mission to provide these women with essential items and toiletries through donations to help them live happier and healthier lives.
3. How did Giving to Silver Silver Spring come about? What inspired you to start your venture?
I was inspired to dedicate my venture to women in poverty for many reasons. The first reason is that I think women’s rights are extremely important and should be advocated for. Women in poverty don’t usually get to have a voice. I want to help these women feel empowered, even if my impact is small. I also wanted to help people that really had no voice or access to resources that most people have access to. I know that if I didn’t have some of these things, it would have a very detrimental impact on my life. I feel that everyone should have the right to have access to basic necessities like soap, food, clothes, etc.
4. What is the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in founding Giving to Silver Spring?
The biggest obstacle I have faced with Giving to Silver Spring is finding the time to work on my project and implementing my ideas. With school, sports and clubs it is hard to manage my time so I can work on my venture. There is a lot of work that goes into my project behind the scenes but I am very passionate about it so the work isn’t tedious.
5. How are you getting the word out about your organization? What efforts are you making to expand?
I have an Instagram for my venture (@givingtosilverspring). I have been posting information through that account. My friends and family repost my posts to get the word out. I have also been in contact with two homeless shelters, Shepherd’s Table and A Wider Circle. Additionally, I have been having conversations with my classmates about Giving to Silver Spring to spread the word further.
6. What are your current goals for Giving to Silver Spring and what steps are you taking to accomplish them?
Right now, I am in the process of coordinating my first toiletry drive for Sheperd’s Table. I am working on Instagram posts to get the word out. I have also been communicating with Shepherd’s Table about the toiletry drive.
7. Do you have any tips for teens looking to start their own initiative?
My advice for teens who want to start their own initiative is to focus on something you are passionate about! If you aren’t passionate about your venture, you won’t want to work on it. Another tip is to reach out to people. Talk to everyone about your project because you never know if they have connections who can help you succeed.
Follow @givingtosilverspring on Instagram for updates on events and ways you can get involved with Maya’s powerful initiative!