Maria Raquel Thomas Appointed First National Youth Ambassador at StandUp for Kids

WASHINGTON - Dec. 2, 2019 - StandUp for Kids is a nationally recognized non-profit charity that works directly with thousands of homeless youth across the country. Since 1990, they have cared for homeless and at-risk youth by transitioning them from crisis to connection. They give youth a sense of safety, hope, and belonging through housing support, mentoring, drop-in centers, and street outreach.

"I am very honored to be appointed as a youth ambassador for StandUp for Kids. The organization is about helping homeless kids get off the street and get into programs that will help them better themselves. My goal is to spread the word to other young people about youth homelessness and what StandUp for Kids is doing to address this concern," states Maria.

Maria Raquel Thomas A.K.A "Ria the Science Princess" is the owner of Ria's Slime Shop, an online store for tweens and teens who love slime. She makes the product because it is fun to play with and it helps calm kids. Since opening her online store in 2018, she has amassed over 14,000 followers on Instagram and her YouTube videos have garnered over 75,000 views from across the globe. Her business has been highlighted on ABC television and in print media.

Ria is an honor-roll student and an award-winning athlete. Her goal is to be a Doctor, Scientist and Inventor when she grows up. She plans to go to Harvard and is saving to help with her enrollment.

Ria has been awarded in the community for her leadership achievements. She was awarded the National "Girl of Merit" 2018 and 2019 award and she was selected as a 2018 Junior National Young Leader. She is one of the youngest nominees for both Forbes "30 Under 30" and Inc magazine "30 Under 30." Recently, she became a member of the 2019 National Junior Honor Society.

Ria continues to give back to the community and has given a portion of her profits to organizations that are dedicated to children such as Victoria's Voice, SE4K, and Standup for Kids.

"Through Ria's entrepreneurial work as an owner of a slime shop, her philanthropy, and her advocacy, she demonstrates what happens when someone is supported and given the tools to make their dreams come true. We need her help to replicate this again and again with the thousands of youth we serve across the country each year," states Eddy Ameen, Co-Chair of Board of Directors.

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