Emily Maksymiuk grew up in Buckingham County, Virginia where she spent her time climbing trees, catching crawdads, and exploring the world through books and her imagination. In her small town, she felt the immense impact devoted teachers and creative programs have on the development of kids in an underprivileged area. Programs such as the Governor’s School of Southside Virginia, Southside Regional Governor’s School Camp, and Girls State influenced the way she envisions the intersection of education, creativity, and community service.
As a first year at the University of Virginia, Emily co-founded a secret society that operates like a co-ed fraternity, literary society, and channel of philanthropic outreach and service that promotes children’s literacy and reading for pleasure in the Charlottesville community. With the society, Emily has worked with local organizations to bring the magic of reading to life and foster mentor relationships between UVA students and children in Charlottesville.
Additionally, Emily works at Charlottesville’s Fastest Growing Business, GovSmart. She started as an assistant in the fall of 2012 and she used her talent as a writer to develop a unique position for herself in the fast-paced technology company by writing proposals to do business with the Federal Government; so far, she has won over $40 billion in contracts. Her success has taught her the value of tenacity and determination, which she hopes to impart in the children with whom she works, particularly her young son, Henry.
She is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in religious studies and plans to pursue a doctoral degree in education. She has spent her time volunteering as a camp counselor for Southside Regional Governor’s School Camp, a Religious Education assistant for Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church – Unitarian Universalist, and as an advocate for young women in technology fields.
Emily is WAGI.Labs’ Courage Encourager where she draws from her experiences, playful spirit, and love of children to develop WAGI.Labs’ Playbook which includes games, stories, videos, and lots of laughter.