Featured Youth: Former Youth Council President Maiya Meeks

Maiya MeeksMaiya Meeks, former Long Beach Branch NAACP Youth Council President, has accomplished major feats during her college career at one of the top universities in the world, University of California, Berkeley (UCB). Maiya, an LB NAACP Scholar/Leader continues to engage extensively in activism and philanthropic causes and activities such as participation and promotion of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and the LB NAACP Law Day Project/Program in Conjunction with Keesal, Young & Logan.

Maiya graduated from high school with the highest honors while maintaining strong involvement in church, sports, youth mentorship, and music. While at U.C. Berkeley, Maiya upheld these high standards and community values employed by the NAACP through her involvement in the black community and the university as a whole. She graduated from Berkeley in May 2019 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare and a minor in Education with a 3.8 GPA. As a minority on campus, she immersed herself in black housing spaces such as the African American Theme Program and the African American Theme House. As a member of these cohorts, Maiya conducted vital research about black bodies, hosted wellness events, mentored incoming first-year students, helped alleviate food insecurity, and among other vital functions. She served as a prominent, welcoming face in the black community and role model for incoming students. Her service continued when she interned for the Black Recruitment and Retention Center. This organization focuses on the recruitment of K-12 students and the retention of black students on campus. As an intern, she assisted in event planning and facilitation, lead workshops, sat on panels, helped with set-up and clean up for events, chaperoned students, and engaged in marketing. Lastly, Maiya cultivated her musical interests as a member of the first black acapella group, Neo-Soul Ensemble. Maiya supervised, researched, and engaged with young children as a teacher assistant at the Early Childhood Education Center for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Additionally, Maiya was also hired as a Peer Leadership Consultant for the hub of all student organizations on campus, the Lead Center. Through this job, she has been able to enhance her customer service skills and provide advising, administrative support, leadership development, and educational experiences to student leaders on Berkeley’s campus.

The major factors behind Maiya’s college success is the support she received from her family and the Long Beach Branch NAACP. Maiya continues to keep a close connection with the NAACP as she tackles higher education. Long Beach Branch NAACP awarded her scholarships, ensuring economic security and accountability through constant check-ins throughout her college education. Thanks to her mentor, President Naomi Rainey-Pierson, who continues to see her potential for leadership and evoking change to the young, gifted students of color. Maiya continues to pledge her support for her community promoting black excellence and social justice for people of color. Her goals coincide with the mission of the NAACP that seeks to “ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination”. Overall, the LB NAACP has nurtured this future leader and continues to foster the growth of many leaders to come. The NAACP is imperative to curing social ills in present-day society such as institutional and overt racism that often targets and impacts communities of color.