Former PGS Captain's New Business Will Help Upcoming Athletes

A newly Georgia State University alumna, Maiya Newton has already made waves in the Atlanta fitness community. In Fall 2016, she started a PGS chapter at her university while also running cross country and track during the school year. This past May, Maiya earned a B.B.A. in Computer Information Systems and Managerial Sciences while continuing her commitment to our organization until the end. Her efforts to inspire her peers to adopt a healthy lifestyle have not gone unnoticed and are greatly appreciated.


We recently discussed her post-grad life and reflected on her involvement with PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT. Learn how she plans to continue making a difference in the health world and lessons she’s learned along the way.

1) What inspired you to become a health leader at Georgia State University?

I became inspired to become a health leader at Georgia State University after “taking a break” from running track and Cross Country in High School. I was unable to walk onto the team my freshman year so I decided to do things to stay involved and remain active. I did things like getting a job on-campus at the rec center and the Georgia State chapter of PGS was born.

2) What did you learn while inspiring your peers to be active and mentally strong?

I learned that it’s a lot harder than it looks. Inspiring others while trying to motivate yourself is extremely hard.

3) Any advice for starting a chapter? Do you have to be a fitness expert?

My advice for anyone wanting to start a chapter would be to make sure that you have a group of initial supporters because it can be very challenging and kind of lonely when you are starting an organization pretty much by yourself. You may be able to quickly gain supporters or girls that will be a good fit for your e-board like I did but the foundation would be a lot stronger if you start from the beginning. You don’t need to be a fitness expert but you should have a passion for wellness overall.

4) Describe what the planning process was like to run a school organization.

So, the initial process was pretty lengthy just like any other organization. Nothing in life comes easy, right? Once, I finally found a team and we were pretty prominent on campus we had to have a lot of meetings to schedule events for the upcoming semester. Scheduling meetings were a task within itself because you have to make sure that everyone on the e-board is available and actually right for your team at that time.

5) How did you balance extracurricular activities with school?

Unfortunately, I was not the best at balancing my extracurricular activities with school so I’m not exactly sure if you would want to hear advice from me, lol. I literally had three jobs, six classes, PGS, Track/XC, etc. all at once. But I think the best advice I could give would be to make sure you PRIORITIZE. Make sure you have one or two stable things that are worth doing (whatever that means for you).


6) What was your most memorable moment as a health leader on campus?

Hmmmm..we had a lot of memorable moments. But, I think my most memorable moment would have to be planning our first Powder Puff game with our Spelman sweat sisters. It was memorable for me because not only were we able to connect with them in a way we hadn’t before, but it took a lot for us to throw that event so it taught me a lot about event planning.


7) Congrats on your recent graduation. How has life been post-graduation, and do you have any insight for future graduates?

Thank you! Life after graduation has been completely hectic but I like hectic, lol. There’s literally one thing after another and a few things that are scheduled on top of each other so that’s always fun. My advice for future graduates would be to take some time off before you go directly into your next move whether that’s the workforce, your own business or whatever you decide to do.

8) Being a former athlete, how have you maintained an active lifestyle? What’s your current weekly workout routine?

I actually haven’t maintained my active lifestyle very well. I literally went from being active six days out of the week to pretty much nothing. But once I get back into a more consistent schedule I will definitely get back into working out and eating healthy.

9) If someone wants to adopt a healthier lifestyle, what are the first steps they should take? 

I always recommend people to just take small steps. Start by walking. You don’t have to start by trying to run a mile. Then, work up from there. My biggest challenge is eating healthy. So, I would recommend to start by making a healthier version of your favorite meals.

10) Do you plan to continue involvement with SWEAT MAKES CENTS, PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT, or similar brands (i.e. Girls on the Run)?

Absolutely! I definitely plan to continue being involved with PGS and similar brands specifically, by partnering with them...stay tuned!

11) Can you tell us about your business, Duffle Company?

Absolutely! I was born and raised in Clayton County, GA until I was nine. I always knew that I wanted to go back and make an impact in my community.  I also grew up playing sports from around 3 yrs. old all the way through college so wanting to focus an organization in sports and health came naturally.  Initially, I thought I would start a non-profit to provide resources for athletes but ended up going the for-profit route. I had the amazing opportunity to become a participant of Nike's Future Varsity Program.  Throughout this process, I was able to improve the business model to be able to make a larger impact.  Duffle, LLC is an exclusive reward-based crowdfunding platform that provides support and resources for athletes in lower-income communities. We hope to develop corporate partnerships, increase user engagement/impact and expand to different markets and products.


12) You seem to be very passionate about fitness and allowing that to translate into your career. Do you have any tips for people to discover their passion(s)?

I think people ultimately know their passions but let society dictate what they want in life. However, if you haven’t found your passion, I would spend some alone time with yourself.


Awesome, right? Let us know in the comments what you think! 

Lauren Purnsley is a senior at Georgia State University majoring in Managerial Sciences. The 22-year-old, who is expected to graduate in December 2019, has a passion for thinking creatively while also possessing a business-driven mindset. After graduation, she hopes to continue her education at Howard Law School with interest in Transactional Law.