Maya Felder

Class of 2019




“Maya Felder has been a student here at Crossroads Farm for almost 10 years. She’s always been wonderful to teach, as she pays attention, works hard, is self-motivated to practice on her own to improve the things we work on in lessons, and has a true love and compassion for her equine partners. She never blames the horse if something isn’t going well, instead she looks inward to find a different way to approach the problem, so the horse understands what she’s asking. This is a rare quality, especially in today’s world. Maya is thoughtful, kind, and someone the younger riders at the barn look up to as a positive role model. Maya has always been a soft, beautiful rider. Horses love her, and so do the judges, but she’s always humble and appreciative when she wins, and gracious even when she doesn’t. Maya would be a great addition and a true asset to any equestrian team.”
~ Rachel Jansen Jones; Owner/Trainer- Crossroads Farm

“I have known Maya Felder nearly all her life. For the last 5 years I have been able to see her not just as my friend’s amazing daughter, but as quite the entrepreneur. I work for a company called Origami Owl, a business founded by a 14 year old girl who inspired to make a difference not only in the lives of adults, but empower young girls to have a business of their own. We call this program the “Owlette Program”. It teaches young girls & boys to run a business, save money, manage their funds, speak publicly, and other real life opportunities. Maya and her mother, Melissa, joined my team and have been working to make a difference ever since. Maya has set up and worked countless jewelry bars at horse events and shows, in people’s homes, and at other big venues. Jewelry bars are what we call setting up our personalized lockets where people can come and “make and take” their customized creations. It is always an opportunity for Maya to speak to adults, manage money, collect funds, handle cash, and all the things a business owner might do with their business. She has truly shined through it all. Maya and Melissa have built a team of over 2,000 women and men all over the United States and Canada and are currently one of the highest ranked designers with Origami Owl. Maya has been there every step of the way.
But let me talk a moment about Maya as a person. Soft spoken and kind, yet fearless and brave, as you can see when she handles her horses. She is a perfect combination of all the qualities it might take to be a leader at school, in the community, or in business. She has orchestrated many Force for Good projects in the community even recently making blankets for the animals who have been placed in the shelters in Houston.
When I think about the type of young person I would want to represent a school, an organization, or a business, Maya is the epitome of it all. I can’t express enough how highly she would come recommended by me and many other business men and women I know in the community who have worked with Maya. She is a delight and someone I am so very proud of. I wish her the best of luck with her next journey in life!”
~ Tami Butcher; Field Vice President with Origami Owl

“I am writing this positive letter of recommendation for Maya Felder. I am the Social Studies department chair and teacher as well as the sponsor for the Black Student Union (BSU) at Mountain Pointe High in Phoenix, Arizona. Maya was a student in my African American History Dual Enrollment course for the fall semester and is an active member of the BSU. I have known Maya for 16 years and have had the pleasure of writing this letter of recommendation and witnessing her grow into a beautiful and intelligent young woman. I am extremely proud of her and the accomplishments that she has achieved over the years.
Academically, Maya is one of my brightest students in my college course. As a junior, Maya is both
attentive and disciplined and completed all of her assignments with dedication. My African American
History course is a Dual Enrollment class where students can receive college credit through Rio Salado
Community College. I demand students to think outside of the box and analyze not simply the course
material, but apply their academic knowledge with their personal life, and societal issues. She developed a keen understanding of history and demonstrated a comprehension of the material that was presented while being sensitive to many of the complicated and complex issues discussed in class. Her journal writings were thought provoking. Maya received an A in the course. Also as a reward for her academic success thus far in high school, Maya was inducted into the National Honor Society. It has been exciting to have Maya as a student in class considering I have known her since she was a little girl.
Socially, Maya has become an integral part of the Black Student Union (BSU). Maya transferred from
another high school in our school district. Although she was academically excelling at her other school, she wanted to transfer to Mountain Pointe because our school is very diverse and provided more
opportunities for her to become involved. From the moment she stepped onto campus during her
second semester of her sophomore year, Maya because involved with the BSU. We were in the process
of planning and executing the BSU’s biannual diversity assembly which is an hour and fifteen minute
celebration of the wonderful diversity that exists at our school. The assembly includes singing, dancing, poetry readings as well as several cultural clubs performances. Maya assisted with every detail and help to make this assembly one of our biggest and most successful events. She was then elected to coactivity’s chair for the 2017-18 academic year and has helped to plan our field trips, talent show, and weekly meetings. Presently, she is assisting with the execution of our Black History Month Celebration.
Maya is one of my most helpful students and actively involved at Mountain Pointe High School.
On a personal note, I have watched Maya develop into the wonderful young lady she is today. Our
families have known each other since I moved to Arizona over 20 years ago. Her mother and father are
close friends of the family. Maya and my daughter were born only six weeks apart. I know anyone
reading this would think I am just writing this letter because I am a family friend, but the truth of the matter is within the last year, I have gotten to see Maya through different eyes. She is not just the daughter of a family friend, she was a student in my class, she is a member of a club that I love dearly, and Maya has shined. I have enjoyed her company along with our long talks not because she was a little girl that I once held as a baby, but because she is one of my mentee. Maya and I share similar interests. She loves history, she enjoys culture, and she embraces the concept of helping others. I have high expectation for Maya and I believe she will not only live up to those expectation, but will exceed them beyond my wildest imagination. Maya will accomplish all of her future goals. With her drive and ambition, Maya has a bright future ahead and she will continue to grow. Again, it is with pleasure that I write this positive letter of recommendation.”
~ Natasha Alston; Mountain Pointe High School, Phoenix, AZ, Social Studies Department ChairAdvisor for Black Student Union