As an 11 year-old, Richmond Hill resident Maggie Batson has already discovered many life experiences – starting a business, acting in a movie and now being featured in a national magazine.
Discovery Girls magazine has chosen 36 girls from all over the country who have demonstrated enthusiasm, personality and are worthy of being role models to be featured in the magazine in 2015.
The young girls will attend a leadership summit in California where they will discuss issues tween girls are facing and help each other come up with solutions. They will also contribute to the magazine, participate in photo shoots and have profiles featured in the magazine, which has a circulation of more than 200,000 and a readership of one million.
“I feel honored and proud of myself,” Maggie said. “I also feel very grateful for being chosen. I know that thousands of girls filled out the questions, and I am blessed to be picked.”
According to her mother Rachel Batson, Maggie had to fill out an application and answer many in-depth questions to be considered by the magazine.
“It took her a few weeks to finish the application,” Rachel said. “She put a lot of thought into the process.”
Maggie said she wants girls who read the magazine to feel they can relate to her and to inspire them not to be afraid of discovering life.
“I want to relate to the girls around the country about the good and bad of growing up,” Maggie said. “I want to let girls know that they can make a difference in the world through hard work and kindness. We are strong and smart. Also, this is truly one of my favorite magazines, so I am thrilled to be in it.”
Maggie said she is looking forward to seeing herself in her favorite magazine. When she first found out she was chosen, she said she was “screaming with joy.”
“I remember when my mom told me the news, I squeezed her so tight and then started to jump and squeal all around my room,” Maggie said. “The photo shoot looks fun and exciting, and I hope that I can inspire girls to work hard and give it their all in everything.”
That’s exactly what Maggie has been doing for her 11 years of life. As Rachel said, she’s a “little girl with big ambitions.” At the age of 7, Maggie started her own business called “Twice Loved by Maggie B.”
“I want the girls who read this magazine to see that I’m a regular girl just like them,” Maggie said. “Just because I own a business doesn’t make me any better than anyone else. They can do anything I can do.”
Together with her mom, the two made designer jewelry out of recycled materials. The necklaces are now being sold in boutiques across the country.
“I have encouraged her to follow her dreams and instincts,” Rachel said. “She has great instincts on how things work. She is not shy and never has been so if I wasn’t sure about something, she would push me through.”
Once, when the two entered a store to sell the necklaces, Rachel began to feel nervous and wanted to leave without talking with anyone. Maggie reminded her that “you don’t know until you try” and that she should “never give up” – advice Rachel had given Maggie before.
“Maggie approached the sales lady and asked to speak to the owner,” Rachel said. “They bought the necklaces.”
This won’t be Maggie’s first time in the magazine. Three years ago, she was featured in Discovery Girls magazine.
“A freelance writer contacted us about doing a little write up about Maggie and pitching it to magazines,” Rachel said. “One of the magazines was Discovery Girls. The magazine published the article. Maggie fell in love with Discovery Girls and has been reading it ever since.”
In addition, Maggie will be in her first feature film to release later this year called “Killing Winston Jones.” She was able to work alongside Richard Dreyfuss and Danny Glover in the dark comedy. Maggie plays the role of Dreyfuss’ daughter in flashback scenes throughout the movie.
“It was the biggest project I have ever been a part of, and well, I felt like a movie star,” Maggie said. “I had many people fixing my hair, my clothes and even my makeup. I even got my own movie trailer.”
Maggie enjoyed working with the actors and crew. She said she would like to act on the side when she’s older, but she’d like her main career to be in law.
“When I grow up, I want to do a lot of things,” Maggie said. “My main career path will be to be a lawyer. I love feeling smart and strong. I also want to own other businesses and act on the side.”
Maggie has also been featured on programs such as PBS’s “Biz Kidz” and Nickelodeon’s “Figure It Out.” According to Rachel, Maggie gets good grades, plays travel soccer and is third baseman for her softball team.
“Maggie gives 100 percent to everything she does,” Rachel said. “Her coaches and teachers have made comments to her dad and me about what a hard worker she is and that they love her attitude. She is a happy, generous, aggressive and smart little girl. She is everything I dreamed of.”
Maggie’s father Dr. John Batson is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon stationed at Fort Stewart. He is a veteran of the Iraq war. Maggie also has two younger brothers.