By Ivette Manners
Although only a freshman in high school, this young San Antonio socialite has also demonstrated wisdom and drive well beyond her years in her athletic success as well as her interest in politics. She has already positioned herself as a competitor on the Texas Tennis Championship circuit. She is also actively engaged in politics and recently had the opportunity to meet presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during one of Clinton’s campaign fundraising events in New York City. Maya created the hashtag #teensforhillary with the aim to raise awareness amongst teenagers on issues of female empowerment and opportunities for Latina America women.
1. NYLM: Maya, you are the daughter of lawyer and philanthropist Thomas J. Henry. Have you always had an interest in philanthropy, like your father, or is it an interest that you have discovered recently?
I have grown up knowing that we should help others. When I was little I decided to start Maya’s Corner, which is an initiative to bring joy to less fortunate children. I saw many children in line with their families to get a turkey and I wanted the kids to be entertained so I would arrange for Santa Claus to be there with candy and activities for the children.
2. You recently created your own hashtag #teensforhillary to support Hillary Clinton’s political campaign. How important a tool do you think social media is to get teenagers interested in societal causes? Do you have any tips for other teenagers who want to create awareness around a certain cause using social media?
I think social media is a great social platform to spread awareness and to interact with other people. I think social media is among the most popular ways that teens around the world communicate and I encourage other teens to use social media if they are interested in creating awareness around a certain cause. Teens are bombarded with social media so it must catch their attention. Lastly, you must be passionate about your idea and don’t give up.
3. You were recently thrown a magnificent Quinceañera with guest appearances from world renowned artists Pitbull and Nick Jonas. Tell us about the most unforgettable moment at the party? What was the best part?
As a whole, the party was beyond my imagination. The venue and decor was amazing as well as the performers. Overall, my favorite part was the father and daughter dance. It was very special to both of us and I will always remember it!
4. You have Mexican heritage on your mother’s side. What role does that play in your life? In what ways do you think your Mexican heritage comes through?
My Mexican heritage plays a huge role because my abuela [Maya’s grandmother] has lived with us since I was born and has helped raise me and influence me. Personality wise my Mexican heritage makes me fiery!! It helps me understand diversity and other cultures and it has made me understand loyalty and the importance of a close family.
5. Tell us something that most people do not know about you.
Most people do not know that I am outgoing until they get to know me. I also don’t eat meat or dairy.
6. What is the best dining experience you’ve ever had? What was your favorite dish? What about the meal made it so special?
Uchi in Austin is my favorite restaurant. My favorite dish is the yokai berry dish with salmon, kale, Asian pear and yuzu. The flavors are so good together and it is healthy.
7. Which three items must you always carry with you when you leave the house? And why those three objects?
My cell phone, my wallet, and my NARS lipstick in “dolce vita”.
8. What song can you listen to on repeat? What is it that makes this song special?
My favorite song is All In It by Justin Bieber. This song is special because I like hearing Justin’s voice!
9. If you could meet anyone in the world, who do you want to meet? And why?
If I could meet anyone it would be Hillary Clinton. I have already met her but I would love to meet her again because I believe she will be the single most powerful woman in the modern world!