My advice to girls: "Passion means something different to everybody: it can be your entire career and the most important part of your life, or it can be a small hobby. Regardless of what it means to you and how it shows up in your life, and of what other people think of it, continue to do whatever makes you happiest and that you are passionate about."

Athena Award: Celebrates the young woman whose impact demonstrates to girls what is possible to achieve in life.

Maya Merhige is a 16-year-old based out of Berkeley, California, who currently holds five world records in marathon open-water swimming. She began swimming in the San Francisco Bay at the age of 9 to raise money for pediatric cancer research and patient care at UCSF, and since then has been setting goals for longer and longer swims. She is the youngest woman to swim the 21-mile Catalina Channel, the 21-mile length of Lake Tahoe, and to complete the Triple Crown of Lake Tahoe. She is also the youngest person to ever swim the 28-mile Molokai Channel, spanning between Molokai and Oahu islands in Hawaii. After swimming continuously for 27 hours and 33 minutes and being stung by jellyfish for three of those many hours, her swim became the longest successful crossing of the notoriously challenging channel. Since she began swimming to raise money for pediatric cancer in 2016, she has successfully raised over $75,000. Her next goal is to become the youngest person to ever complete the Oceans Seven, a series of the seven hardest channel swims and will be attempting the English Channel in 2024.