Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kids! Interview with Mari Copeny

By Victoria Feng, Editor-in-Chief

 

After experiencing the Flint water crisis herself, Mari Copeny was determined to help her community.  She wrote a letter to President Obama, largely expecting her wouldn’t reply.  However, he responded by visiting Flint and helping draw further national attention to the Flint water crisis.  For the advocacy, Mari has been dubbed “Little Miss Flint.”

Amazing Kids (AK): What inspired you to advocate for against the Flint water crisis?

Mari Copeny (MC): I wanted to speak out about what was going on living with the Flint Water Crisis and I wanted to be a voice for all the kids here in Flint that couldn’t speak for themselves or were too afraid to speak up.

(AK): What was the most challenging part of your advocacy?

(MC): Making adults take me seriously and listen to me and realize that I am capable of forming my own thoughts and opinions.

(AK): Can you describe your experience writing to President Obama, and later having him come to Flint?

(MC): We were heading to DC for the congressional hearings about the Flint Water crisis and we were riding on a bus for 12 hours with lots of other Flint residents and I just though a visit from President or First Lady Obama would really give all those people hope and to know they weren’t forgotten. I never in a million years expected him to write back a couple of months later, let alone come to Flint because of me.

(AK): Can you explain some of the specific projects that you’ve worked on to improve the water crisis? 

(MC): We have given out over a million bottles of water to the residents of Flint. We have done backpacks and school supplies to help kids affected by the water crisis to be prepared to go back to school as well as a book program to get as many books in the hands of Flint Kids as possible.

(AK): What do you view as your greatest accomplishment?

(MC): Being able to make the world aware of what is going on in Flint and to never let them forget us.

(AK): If you could change any single thing in the world, what would you change?

(MC): I would make hate go away. So much of the ugly in the world is caused by hate.

(AK): What advice would you give to our readers about following their dreams and making a difference?

(MC): If you want to change the world, get started now. It doesn’t matter how old, or how big or little you are. You are capable of changing the world right now.

(AK): What are your goals for the future?

(MC): Full ride scholarship to my dream schools by the time i finish 8th grade, to become an animator/author, and President in 2044.