Sofia Stafford, a junior at the Hewitt School, an independent K-12 girls’ school in Manhattan, is described by her teachers as informed, committed and unstoppable.
Through various opportunities at her school and in her community, Sofia has proven to be a leader of her peers.
She is the founder and chair of the Community Service Board at Hewitt and serves as the Student Curator of the 2nd annual TEDxYouth@ Hewitt Conference to be held on November 19, 2011.
In addition, she is President of her school’s ACTION Club (Awareness, Community, Tolerance, Inclusion, Opportunity, Now) as well as Head Tour Guide for the school’s admissions office, touring and speaking with prospective students and parents. As a member of ACTION last year, Sofia introduced Hewitt to the Girl Effect movement, creating an educational video and organizing a drive to collect items for girls in Rwanda.
Sofia’s volunteer experience spans not only years but countries. This July, Sofia traveled to Fiji on a community service trip where she monitored marine reefs and developed a leadership curriculum for 7th grade students.
In prior summers, Sofia has traveled to Peru to teach English and math to local students; as well as help refurbish their school and local animal rehabilitation center, and to Costa Rica to create and run a mini-summer camp for local elementary school age children. Back home in New York, Sofia volunteers weekly with the after-school program at Cassidy’s Place, a program for underprivileged preschoolers with special needs.
In addition to her passion for working with children, Sofia pursues her interest in the field of medicine by working as an intern in the Cardiac Clinical Research Department of Lenox Hill Hospital and recently attending the Medicine Institute for high school students at Georgetown University.
Sofia is an honor roll student and the recipient of her school’s Distinguished Student Award. This past June, Sofia was recognized for her character and personal integrity with the New York State Attorney General’s “TRIPLE C” Award for Commitment, Character and Courage.
With her impressive community service, her strong academic record and her leadership training, Sofia still finds the time to be a normal teenage girl. She has been dancing flamenco since she was 8 years old and currently is captain of a competitive drill team and hip-hop team.
Sofia is driven by the question, “why is it that we have so many opportunities because of the place we were born, and why should it be different for girls in underdeveloped countries?” She believes that the opportunities she has embraced come with an obligation to make the world a better place, and that starts with creating opportunities for girls.