Maya Penn, 16-Year-Old Award-Winning Author and Entrepreneur, Visits CPS


Maya Penn, a 16-year-old award-winning eco-designer, artist, philanthropist, activist, entrepreneur, animated filmmaker, coder, illustrator and author of You Got This!, visited Cincinnati Public Schools to talk to students in the Student Enterprise program at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy and Westwood School.

Maya’s book, You Got This!, is used as part of the Student Enterprise curriculum at Rothenberg and Westwood schools. The students had no idea she was coming and exploded with applause once she entered the auditorium.

After inspiring students with her own story, Maya took a variety of questions from the students about starting and maintaining a successful business. After lunch, students shared their business presentations with Maya in a Shark Tank format. 

Maya has been featured in countless publications, and has given three TEDTalks seen by almost 2 million viewers. She was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of her Supersoul 100 influencers. Google has partnered with Maya to speak to girls about coding and computer science at their Made With Code events. Magic Johnson chose Maya to be featured in his 32 Under 32 article series.

The Student Enterprise program at Rothenberg and Westwood schools was introduced in the 2016-17 school year as part of a comprehensive improvement plan, Vision 2020: My Tomorrow, designed to bring greater equity, access and opportunity for all students to attend great schools. The program teaches students to think like entrepreneurs by designing, starting and maintaining student-run businesses at the schools. Traditional academic topics are complemented by hands-on, technology-rich learning experiences in economics, marketing and business planning.


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