Fifteen-Year Old Founder of “Clean up the Beach” Urges Individuals to “Be Nice” To Venice!
By Nick Antonicello
Being a serial cynic of sorts I have come to believe little can be changed for the betterment of people.
And then I met Makayla Cox.
A resident of Torrance, Makayla attended the November meeting of the Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org) and articulated her vision for beach cleanups and how to bring attention to her personal passion of beautification here in Venice.
She came to the meeting and spoke under public comment as to her goals and objectives which were persuadable and a put a smile on the faces of most in the audience who were impressed by her maturity and a “get things done” attitude!
I had a chance to speak with Makayla and her Mom and asked her to go into further detail about her “Clean Up the Beach” efforts and her plans for the future.
My interview with Makayla is below.
For more information about her community cleanups, you can e-mail her at CleanUpTheBeachCA@gmail.com and you can either volunteer or donate to her efforts here at the beach in Venice.
What exactly was the request you made tonight in your remarks at the meeting of the VNC?
My request was to improve Ocean Front Walk by the city providing trash cans with functional and sturdy lids in the North Venice Blvd. parking lot as well as on the boardwalk. In addition, I would like to have the wooden hollow stumps that are located adjacent to the North Venice Blvd. parking lot and the boardwalk to either be repaired or replaced to avoid people using them as trash cans and to prevent a hazard.
Were you seeking the VNC’s endorsement or approval?
I will be starting the process of making a motion with the Venice Neighborhood Council for both of my 2, “ take action” ideas (Sturdy & Functional Trash Cans with proper lids and repairing or replacing the hollow wooden stumps).
How long have you been a Girl Scout?
This is my 8th year being a Girl Scout. What I have learned since we met this past Tuesday, my Girl Scout Gold Award cannot be associated with “Clean Up the Beach” because of it being “an existing program.” After recovering from the disappointment, I have still committed myself to take action and complete my goals of improving the litter issue at Venice Beach, including the North Venice Blvd. Parking Lot, Ocean Front Walk and on the sand. I will be earning my Girl Scout Gold Award this year, which is the highest award that can be earned in Girl Scouting as it has to be sustainable, requiring 80 service hours and a project that changes an issue in the community. As most people refer to it being equivalent to the Eagle Scout Award.
Where do you attend high school, and what activities are you involved with such as clubs, athletics, etc.?
I attend Torrance High School. I am on the track team as a sprinter (Events: 100m, 200m, 4x1relay and 4x4relay). I am also on the Class Council as a Historian, the Black Culture Club and Foundation of Christian Athletes.
Are you on the Honor Roll?
There is not an Honor Roll at my school.
I have a 3.5 GPA.
I currently take Honor English 2, Physics and Honors Precalculus.
I am on an advanced graduation track to complete requirements by my Junior year.
I understand you are 15 and a sophomore?
Yes, I am 15 years old and a sophomore in High School.
What are your plans beyond high school and where would you like to attend college?
I am so excited to share that I want to attend the University of Southern California (FIGHT ON) and run track!
I will be majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing to earn my Bachelor’s degree.
I would love to continue my education at USC and attend the Marshall School of Business to earn my Masters of Business Administration. Thereafter, I plan to own a successful and flourishing business.
Why is community service important to you?
Community Service is important to me because I feel that we should all give back to those in need. It has always been rewarding to complete community service projects in areas that most do not want to go to: Skid Row, Venice Beach, Watts and other areas.
Makayla Cox is an impressive teenager that knows what she wants to do and where she is going. She is a multi-talented and diversified personality that understands the importance of community service, a strong academic background and how competitive athletics builds character.
Thank you for all that you do and we need more young people like Makayla Cox making a true difference here in Venice!
Nick Antonicello is a thirty-year resident of Venice that covers the community and culture of Venice and the individuals impacting the neighborhood in a positive way. Have a take or a tip on all things Venice? Contact the author via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org