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Maya Boyce on Faculty, Charity, and Holding Cameron’s Legacy Alive

“I need to act after I get out of school, which has at all times been my plan,” she continues. “And Cameron was at all times very, very excited for me to search out my very own id, as a result of we turned inventive across the similar time, and we kind of got here up with the concepts to behave on our personal.”

She’s trying to probably act in a horror film or return to the stage — Maya just lately portrayed Maggie in Arthur Miller’s After the Fall, in a manufacturing placed on by her group of mates. And her mates appear to be instrumental in her general positivity.

“I’ve cultivated a very unbelievable group of people that simply make me really feel so impressed and motivated. All of my mates are making issues, are beginning to get jobs, are simply being inventive and fantastic,” Maya says. “And it is simply so good to see the individuals who I am shut to achieve success within the issues that they need to do, and hopefully have an effect on the fields that they are going in. Regardless that most of my mates are going into inventive fields, those who aren’t are additionally kicking butt, taking names, and it is simply actually, actually — it is motivating for me.”

One other motivator for Maya is in her charity work: Wielding Peace is a photography-based undertaking that encourages youngsters to specific their most intense feelings by channeling them into creativity, with the hopes that artwork will help them course of their emotions in a constructive manner. 

The Wielding Peace undertaking was Cameron’s concept, at “the peak of the mass shootings, when that was the factor that basically dominated the information cycle,” says Maya, who was buoyed by the undertaking’s outcomes. “Wielding Peace turned a photograph sequence of youngsters holding creative instruments and such — you understand, paintbrushes, cameras, trombones, no matter it’s {that a} child is captivated with — and wielding it like a weapon,” she explains. “[It’s] saying, ‘That is my instrument. I need not use violence or hurtful phrases. I might be inventive and channel that vitality into one thing optimistic.’”

“With all the youngsters sending of their pictures, wielding peace, it is simply very inspiring to see these youngsters decide to one thing by publicly saying, ‘This isn’t okay,’” Maya provides. “Listening to youngsters say that, it makes me really feel very eager for the longer term.”

However it may be tough to remain motivated within the trigger when gun violence is a nationwide epidemic. In response to Everytown, 38,826 individuals die by gun violence in america annually, which is greater than 100 individuals fatally shot every day. 

However there’s a sure energy younger individuals have to induce change. “What retains me optimistic, and what retains my entire household motivated, is that this new technology of youngsters who’re making an attempt to alter the course of [gun violence],” Maya says, whereas discussing younger activists akin to X González and different outspoken survivors of the capturing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College in 2018. 

Now that the muse has achieved quite a lot of Cameron’s initiatives, akin to Wielding Peace and his work with the Thirst Mission, it has been positioned to focus totally on epilepsy analysis and consciousness. “When he died, not many individuals knew he had epilepsy.  We had identified he had seizures, however epilepsy wasn’t actually a dialog, and we’d by no means heard of SUDEP,” Maya says.

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