Maria Raquel Thomas: “Get involved with an organization that you believe in”

Get involved with an organization that you believe in. My mom and I did lots of research on the topic of youth homelessness and the numbers are staggering. I would reach out to the organization directly. And you don’t have to be shy about it. Non-profits welcome supporters! As part of my series about young […]

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Get involved with an organization that you believe in. My mom and I did lots of research on the topic of youth homelessness and the numbers are staggering. I would reach out to the organization directly. And you don’t have to be shy about it. Non-profits welcome supporters!

As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maria Raquel Thomas.

Maria Raquel Thomas is an Entrepreneur and Philanthropist and she is passionate about changing the world around her!

Personal Life/School Life: In her personal life, Maria Raquel Thomas exemplifies goodwill leadership. She is the 9th grade Class President at Grace Brethren Christian Academy and she is on the Director’s Academic List. She is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and she is the recipient of the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. Maria Raquel Thomas is an athlete, and she has won several awards in cross country and track, to include being named the MVP of the cross-country team. In her spare time, you will find her, mixing new science formulas, building robots, and roller-coaster. Most recently, she built a working adult size roller-coaster in her backyard!

Professional Life: Maria Raquel Thomas is the owner of Maria Raquel Thomas Cosmetics. After dealing with her own personal lip care challenges, Maria Raquel Thomas began making her own products to help her challenge. She is also wanted to help girls stay positive and motivated during COVID-19 pandemic. She soon developed a line of lip scrubs and masks to encourage other girls to take care of their lips.

Next, she launched the D.R.I.P. lipgloss (Daring. Radiant. Independent. Powerful.). The collection sold out in less than a week! She then started a third collection, called Girl Power which includes lipglosses and eyeshadows. What’s unique about her Girl Power collection, is that she named the products using positive adjectives such as: Beautiful, Dreamer, and Adventurous. She most recently debuted a new 5-piece lip shine collection, called “Rockstar”.

In her future, Maria Raquel Thomas plans to take proceeds from her cosmetic line and use it to pay for medical school. She wants to be an ER doctor so she can continue to care for others.

Community Life: Maria Raquel Thomas continues to give back to the community by donating a portion of her earnings to children’s charities including Victoria’s Voice, SE4K, and Standup for Kids. She is the first-ever National Youth Ambassador for Standup for Kids, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending youth homelessness which is also her pageant platform. Maria Raquel Thomas recently assisted StandUp for Kids in raising over 50,000 dollars in their first ever virtual run/walk race.

Awards: Maria Raquel Thomas has earned several awards for her leadership skills. She was named a 2018 Junior National Young Leader and received the National “Girl of Merit” award in 2018 and 2019. For her voluntary work, she recently earned The President’s Volunteer Silver Medal.

Media: Maria Raquel Thomas has made appearances on ABC, FOX, and CBS. She’s also graced the covers of scores of international and national publications and made history as the youngest cover of 17.23 magazine! In Feb 2021, she was nicknamed, “The Humble Giant,” by Malvie magazine, Vol 28.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

I grew up in a loving and caring environment. My parents are both Veterans and they taught me to have discipline, kindness, and integrity.

Is there a particular book or organization that made a significant impact on you growing up?

I love the Emily Post Etiquette Book. It gives me a great understanding of how to be mindful of my manners.

How do you define “Making A Difference”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Making a difference necessitates thinking outside the box. Doing anything out of the ordinary. For example, through a non-profit called StandUp for Kids, I am attempting to make a difference in the fight against youth homelessness.

Ok super. Let’s now jump to the main part of our interview. You are currently involved with an organization that aims to make a social impact. Can you tell us a bit about what you and the organization are trying to change in our world today?

I am the very first National Youth Ambassador for the nonprofit, StandUp for Kids. Together, we are trying to get as many youth off of the streets and into shelters and homes. We do fundraisers, clothing drives and much more. Right now, we are preparing for our second annual Walk/Run/Race to help end the cycle of youth homelessness.

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

My parents, as I have stated, were always kind to others. My mother devotes her time to assisting homeless veterans, and I decided that I, too, wanted to help others. So, my mother and I conducted some research and came upon StandUp for Kids, and we took it from there.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?

The “aha moment” came for me when I saw youth on the streets when we were driving to a store. I thought to myself, what if we could get youth off the streets and into schools? They could one day go to college and even come up with a cure or invent new products to help our community.

Many young people don’t know the steps to work with a new organization. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took?

I would say 1) Get involved with an organization that you believe in. My mom and I did lots of research on the topic of youth homelessness and the numbers are staggering. 2) I would reach out to the organization directly. And you don’t have to be shy about it. Non-profits welcome supporters!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began working with StandUp for Kids?

Last year during the pandemic, StandUp for kids wanted to do a fundraiser. They started a virtual Walk/Run/Race event. I invited everyone I knew to join the fundraiser. I reached out to local celebrities, chefs, pageant queens, you name it. The organization raised over 50,000 dollars! We were all so excited!

None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?

My mother is a Veteran and she takes giving back to the community serious. Everyone in our house works with a non-profit. Even my little sister who is a 12-year-old chef is working with a non-profit. I own a signature cosmetic company; Maria Raquel Thomas Cosmetics and a portion of my proceeds goes back into the community.

Without saying specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

My mom has a friend who is a very well-known celebrity in Potomac, Maryland who is on a BRAVO television show. She came over to our house and brought clothes for a clothing drive I was doing. It just goes to show you that celebrities are people to and they love to give back as well. I was very thankful for her contribution.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Yes. Standup for Kids has four core programs in different cities where they operate. The programs are Street Outreach, Outreach Centers, Mentoring and Housing. So, people can volunteer in those areas, donate and/or become a corporate sponsor.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

I would tell them you have be selfless and think about our future. We have a lot of challenges; however, we have more solutions. And if we work together, we can solve our challenges, together.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them.

I would like to have lunch with Zendaya because she is inspiring and she works to be a voice in our community. I like that about her!

How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow me on Instagram on both @mariaraquelthomasofficial and @mariaraquelthomas. My website is

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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