Inspiring Individual: Evelyn Atieno

unnamed-1Evelyn Atieno is an ambitious eighteen-year-old from Baltimore, Maryland. A published author, immigration reform activist, and rape reform activist, Atieno has many accomplishments that distinguish her from most other teenagers. She recently published her first book entitled Where Did Daddy Go, a book about how deportation effects the children of immigrants. She held a seminar about sexual assault awareness at her high school, which was attended by a Maryland Delegate. She is also editor-in-chief of the UB Post (University of Baltimore Newspaper, and has been featured in the Baltimore Sun and Business Insider’s Most Impressive High School Graudates of 2015. She was also a teen journalist at ABC 2 in Baltimore.

Her biggest accomplishment, however, has been Affinity Magazine, which is read in 50 states and over 100 countries.

Evelyn serves as founder and editor-in-chief of Affinity. She oversees the writers while also designing the magazine, photographing, and also designing the website.

Read our interview with Evelyn, where she shares her opinions on feminism, other teen magazines, and more.

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Inspiring Individuals: Maria Myers, Teen Social Entrepreneur and Activist

Maria Myers, 15, is the co-founder and CEO of Pretty Purposeful, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit she started two years ago with her sister Julia. She is passionate about empowering girls through events, fundraising for fistula repair surgeries, and raising awareness about women’s issues. She works as an independent graphic designer and social media marketing strategist, as well as running all of the marketing, social media and sales for the site she created: http://www.PrettyPurposeful.org. She has been interviewed on live TV for U.S. and Asian media outlets and featured in several newspaper articles and magazines. She has participated in competitive speech and debate for 4 years, placing in the top 10% nationally in several events.

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Inspiring Individuals: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is January 19th, 2015, MLK’s birthday. It has been a mere 52 years since King wrote his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” defending his civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance to racism amid a segregated country.

Martin-Luther-King

As we reflect on how far the United States has come since the years of the Jim Crowe South, we also must remember the dangerous power of hatred and division. While King was in the Birmingham, Alabama jail for protesting the treatment of blacks, he received a newspaper article from 8 white clergy men. In the article, the clergymen condemned King’s disruptions of peace as ineffective and representative of poor leadership. In response, King began to create what would be published as the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” on the margins of that very newspaper.

Here is his full letter which I encourage everyone to read: http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

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My story: Immigration in the Pursuit of a Better Life in America

วัดพระแก้ว, a Buddhist temple in Bangkok

Waking up to the sound of an alarm instead of my mom’s voice still feels strange. During the summer of 2009, I was adopted by my aunt and uncle. On my last night in Thailand, I lay awake in bed. I wasn’t scared or excited. Out of all possible feelings, my brain was fixed on curiosity; I had no idea what was coming my way. I didn’t understand why I had to leave home in order to receive my education. A multitude of thoughts ran through my head as I tried to answer my own questions. I attempted to absorb all of my childhood memories with my parents one last time before I had another continent to call my home.

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