Meet Sophia

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California fellow
School:

Convent of the Sacred Heart High School

Host Organization:

KQED

Year Born:

2002

If I could have one superpower, it would be:

To freeze time

Why do you think other students and teens should get involved in youth activism? 

Students and teens should be involved because it affects them just as much. You can find a problem right in your neighborhood and help out with it too. Start by looking for something you’re passionate about and then find something in your community where you can help out.

How long have you been thinking about making change or engaging other youth in making change?

I first got involved when I started a journalism class at school. It was an elective and I thought I could try it. I never have been the greatest writer and coming up with my own stories was hard for me, so I thought telling other people’s stories is something I can do. I’ve been thinking about change for a while. I like hearing both sides of the story on an issue. I’m very much for free speech even though I may strongly disagree with someone. I want to learn how our world can come to terms and find a middle ground of understanding on people’s beliefs. Not to attack people on what they stand for.

Have there been any particularly important moments that keep you motivated?

I go to a primarily white, private, Catholic school in San Francisco and my best friend, who is Mexican, made the first People of Color Club to discus issues about race. I was happy to see change in our community. Some kids are not educated on what happens around the world and they jump to mainly negative conclusions about cultures and religions. It is important that we educate people about different races, cultures and religions.

Do you have any stories to share about that experience?

Not at the moment. I am white and Asian, but have never come across an experience where I was personally targeted because of my race.

What issues or problems matter to you?

I want to impact racism because it’s upsetting to see people be discriminated against based on color or religion.

What motivates you to be involved in creating change in these areas? 

I think there are many ignorant people in the world that need to be educated. I want to hear both sides of the story. Living in San Francisco we live in a little bubble where people are mainly democrats. I don’t often hear an opinion different from everyone else’s and I want to expand from San Francisco and the Bay Area to talk to other people and learn their opinions.

What do your friends and your family think of your involvement?

My family is supportive of everything I do. I come from a very interesting family and sometimes they agree and disagree on certain issues and that’s ok. I learned from them to look at both sides before you judge someone’s opinion.

How do you feel that your work has made a difference?

I want to tell stories that need to be told, but are not in the limelight. I am excited to scope out new stories and engage people in what they have to say.