‘Mari’ Copeny first came to fame in her hometown of Flint, Michigan from her days in beauty pageants. But Mari already understood that. beauty is only skin deep. The city she loved was in the midst of a water crisis and she wanted to help.
After a pair of scientific studies proved lead contamination was present in the water supply, a federal state of emergency was declared in January 2016. Flint residents were advised to continue using bottled or filtered water until all the lead pipes were replaced, which isn’t expected to be completed until 2020 or later. Scientists warned that even after lead exposure stops, the effects can last for years or even be permanent, especially for exposed children.
Mari decided she wanted to stand up and give a voice to the kids in Flint who couldn’t stand up and speak for themselves. In March 2016, when only eight years old, she wrote a letter to President Obama asking if it would be possible for him to meet with the people of Flint to give them a lift. That moment was televised, with the world looking on as Mari ran into Obama’s arms and gave him a huge hug.
Mari then turned to a second project: to help the students of Flint, Michigan be prepared with all the right tools when they returned to school. Her project was only moderately successful its first year, but then, through a partnership with Pack Your Back, a non-profit started by students at Central Michigan University, they raised enough money to fill 1,000 backpacks along with another $10,000 in donations.. While continuing to help the people of Flint, Michigan, ‘Mari’ has spread her wings to become involved in leadership roles on a global scale. With more than 81,000 Twitter followers, she has the words, Activist, Philanthropist, Future President, emblazoned on her Twitter masthead.
This story is now published in
Tales2Inspoire ~ The Pearl Collection Stories of Awesome Kids