Today in my culture and literacy class, our professor Gina Ko brought in a special guest speaker… her daughter 12 year old daughter Mya! Mya and her friend Eve have had major success with their petition on Change.org, asking Starbucks to improve the design of their disposable cups to make them more environmentally friendly. Their petition, that started with the goal of a few hundred signatures, has now collected over 340,000 signatures! The girls have caught national attention, and were able to fly to Seattle to present their petition at Starbucks headquarters. Since then, Starbucks has committed big money to the development of the “NextGen” cup, and McDonalds has hopped on board. Mya and Eve’s next goal is to commit Tim Horton’s to get involved, and you can sign that petition here.
Mya’s Challenge: Mya left our class a challenge that I wanted to pass on: See if you can go one week without using a disposable cup! Instead bring your own travel mug from home in order to enjoy your tea or coffee this week.
I was super impressed with Mya’s activism and care for the environment. I got to ask her about other issues that she is passionate about changing. She told the class about her concerns with plastic straws, plastic bags, and oversized plastic packaging. She also is learning more about hunger and poverty and ways she can help.
Our visit from Mya was an inspiring reminder of the power in young voices. At twelve years old, Mya is affecting real change in the world. By being critical of the world around her, and being willing to put in the work, she is helping to create a more sustainable planet. As a future educator, I hope I can support many young activists like Mya!
If you would like some tips from Mya’s mom, and powerhouse professor Gina Ko check out her article 10 Ways Parents Can Support Youth Advocacy published in UCalgary Today.