Joyce Ma is a 17 year old youth advocate keen on innovating and realizing impact in an interdisciplinary manner, from mental health and reproductive rights to gender equality and children’s rights. She has taken a particularly strong interest in the area of intergenerational trauma, and aims to make an impact through initiatives targeted at children from families facing issues such as foster system, substance abuse, and unstable living environment. She is the Founder of Mission EQ, aiming to advance intergenerational dialogue and action on self and peer led mental health support.
From a young age, stories, books, movies and tv shows brought life into lessons about the world for Joyce. These stories and interacting with people allowed her to feel a greater sense of connection. Later on pursuing acting she was faced with the reality of being passionate and having motivation for something yet the majority of the time experiencing disappointment. Although at the time it demotivated her, it allowed her to cherish the wins. It taught her to not give up even when it may seem like all odds are against her and staying true to who she is each time is the path to fulfillment, both professionally and personally.
Drawing from these experiences, she has, over the past few years, turned her interest in intergenerational trauma into activism, first by working in the summer with kids facing either family issues or lack of attention. She witnessed first hand how these issues can manifest to behavioral change, and impact them over time as they become more aware of the world around them. Forming such deep connections with these kids has cemented her commitment to help more in the same position, as she believes it is unfair that youth can be so young and oblivious to the fact that any small or big step can impact how one integrates in society for better or worse.
In the future, Joyce wants to continue working at a local organization with kids where she is able to have fun and enjoy her time as if she is a kid. It brings out the life and positivity in the mundane day to day life.
She hopes to be an avid leader in the clubs she partakes in while helping them integrate into her school community. At university, she aims to study communications and public relations to keep scaling her impact on a global level.