Intern Spotlight: Maya Hayes

Maya Hayes serves as OEP's Racial Justice Organizing Intern. Maya is a driven senior studying social work at UNC Greensboro. In her free time, Maya enjoys practicing Spanish, modeling, and cooking. With her positive energy and passion for growth, Maya is poised to make a lasting impact in the field of social work. She reflects on the impact that On Earth Peace has made in her life during her internship.

Why are you drawn/applied to On Earth Peace?

I am elated to announce that On Earth Peace empowers me to conceive and execute events that enlighten my community while also equipping me with the necessary support and expertise to do so with unwavering confidence. This organization aligns with the principles of Kingian Nonviolence and has taught me how to seamlessly integrate these principles into my work. The result has been a transformative shift in my perspective and a renewed outlook on the world. Additionally, On Earth Peace has greatly expanded my network, affording me countless opportunities to connect with remarkable interns across the globe and individuals who will undoubtedly aid in my future career.

What are the favorite project/s that you worked on?

My current project, The Crowned Success Project, is without a doubt my favorite. Despite the considerable amount of time and effort required to plan and overcome my initial fear to take on this project, I am proud to have successfully executed this unique and meaningful project. The Crowned Success Project is focused on professional development, life skills, and addressing the discrimination faced by African American females at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where I am pursuing my Bachelor's degree in Social Work. The objective of this project is to educate, inspire, and empower these students, so that they may approach the workforce with confidence. To date, I have executed two successful events, "Speak Up, Speak Out" - a safe space for students to voice the disparities they face at UNCG and to discuss the support they need, and "Expert Insight Q&A" - an event featuring three guest speakers addressing topics such as finding internships and financial literacy, applying Kingian Nonviolence strategies in the face of discrimination, recruitment, and addressing microaggressions. This event was attended by 17 students and received an overwhelming response just like the first which had 16 students. I plan to have two more events to end my semester.

How has OEP affected your outlook/future aspirations?

On Earth Peace has challenged me to reach new heights and pursue aspirations I once thought were unattainable. With their guidance, motivation, and unwavering support, I have been able to fulfill my passion for creating programs, educating, and advocating for those in need. Upon completing this internship, I depart with newfound confidence in my ability to continue developing programs, guided by the principles of Kingian Nonviolence. I am proud to say that I have undergone a transformation, thanks to On Earth Peace, and have come to recognize my worth and determination.

What would you like people to know about OEP and yourself?

Although this is a remote internship, OEP gave me the opportunity to learn about the world through the eyes of other interns, and Matt Guynn my supervisor was able to guide me as if it were an in-person internship. Matt was the one that really pushed me and I appreciate him for that. When it comes to me, I want people to know that I am in my last year of undergrad and plan to leverage the skills and knowledge gained from this internship to pursue my career aspirations in social policy, law, and social justice.

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