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In some ways, Maya Jai Pinson is typical.
The 14-year-old loves going to Six Flags with her friends, playing video games, hanging outdoors, and bike riding.
She also loves to read and write as well as to volunteer.
In other ways, though, Maya Jai is a standalone.
Entering the entertainment industry at the age of one, the native Washingtonian has been featured in numerous magazines newspapers, and on posters. She has a busy acting career, a published children’s book, and a full schedule of motivational speaking engagements.
Maya is also the first co-host of the Archie Beslow’s “Voices of Our Teens” talk show at Radio One Station in Silver Spring (WOL-AM 1450 and FM 95.9).
“VOOT is a program created so teens can have a voice, whether by calling into the studio from around the world or being a studio guest [if they’re locals],” Beslow said. “Radio One is a station urban listeners turn to for entertainment, inspiration and information. They are a community partner, always providing a mic to amplify the voices of our communities.”
Outside of having “a cool host, ‘Pinson said, “‘Voices of Our Teens’ serves as a great platform for teens to voice their opinions, share their experiences and just get information to help them through everyday life. I really enjoy meeting and talking with other teens on our program.”
Beslow returns the compliment.
“Maya Jai exemplifies teen excellence,” he said. “This is based on her commitment to academics, family values, peers and her many goals.”
In addition to being a radio host, Beslow is the author of two books, “The Parent, the Coach, the Mentor” and “The Mentor that Inspires,” a retired police officer and high-school football coach.
Beslow said he and Maya “calibrate” on selecting topics and choosing appropriate guests. Show topics have varied from bullying, teen dating, and teens dealing with divorce. The Shooting Future Stars casting agency handles the scheduling and booking for Voices of Our Teens.
Pinson is expanding her broadcasting presence. She’s filming a new TV series, “Dads Do It Too,” to launch in early-December – playing the role of Taylor.
As if that’s not impressive enough, Maya also played first chair cello in her school’s orchestra; read over 3 million words; and was captain of her school’s basketball, volleyball and lacrosse teams.
The ability to balance school, friends and extracurricular activities – and still retain a GPA of over 4.0 – has not only life makes easier for Maya. It also led to the publication of a book she wrote in which she shares her trade secret. It’s the guise of a children’s book from AuthorHouse Publishing called “Back Pack Lilly,” for ages 3 and older.
The hero of the book is a dog named Lilly, who promotes studying over playing using a method Maya devised herself, entitled “Stop, Drop, Work, then Play.”
“This a system I’ve put in place,” Pinson said. “It’s pretty easy – you just have to practice it as often as possible – STOP what you’re doing, DROP whatever it is that’s not a priority, WORK on your school lessons, and once you’re done, THEN PLAY!
“I want to inspire other kids (through my book) with my system with keeping them on track and focused with their studies,” she added.
Maya also encourages focusing on reading. The high-school freshman said has read more than 3,000,000 words so far.
It’s sometimes hard to settle on one goal when you’re multitalented. But Pinson knows she’d like to be an actor.
“I love portraying other characters in films,” she said. “It’s exciting, and I love experiencing new things.”
To learn more about Maya Jai Pinson, you can follow her on Instagram at @mayajai04, or visit www.mjaip.com. On the website, there’s a place to enter your e-mail and sign up for monthly newsletters. The Voices of Our Teens Instagram account is @voicesofourteens.