Anika Ortiz  may look like a typical 13-year-old, but she isn’t. With a list of honors, awards, and well-deserved accolades, including being named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Orange County, Anika is anything but your typical 8th-grade student.

A few years ago, Anika lost her older sister, Alejandra to domestic violence. Alejandra was murdered by her estranged husband and since then, Anika has dedicated her work to help victims of domestic abuse. Anika, with the help of her mother, Maria Ortiz, started a monthly pop-up boutique last year at the Mariposa Women & Family Center. Dedicated to her sister Alejandra, Anika’s Pink Closet sold gently used clothing and accessories for girls. A portion of the proceeds went back to the center that helps women and families, many affected by domestic violence.

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In addition to her school studies and entrepreneurial responsibilities, Anika also is a gifted motivational speaker who has spoken at numerous events for organizations that encourage community service and supports children that come from abusive circumstances. Anika also hosts classes for girls ages 5-15 (depending on the topic) on a variety of topics such as confidence, positivity, respect, and bullying – something she has personal experience in dealing with.anika-ortiz-epic-student-spotlight-2

Anika is an 8th grader at Epic Charter School and is currently working on a few upcoming projects including a talent show in December, and another Kid’s Gala as well as a Young Entrepreneur’s Summit in early 2017. You can keep up with Anika and her projects on her website, Anika’s Pink Closet as well as on Facebook and Instagram.