Sofia Stafford, a senior at the Hewitt School, an independent K-12 girls’ school in Manhattan, is described by her teachers as informed, committed and unstoppable.
She is the founder and chair of the Community Service Board at Hewitt and served as the Student Curator of the 2nd annual TEDxYouth@ Hewitt Conference held on November 19, 2011 and as a Mentor for the 2012 curatorial team.
In addition, she has been a member and 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. Sofia serves as a Teen Advisor for Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation.
Sofia’s volunteer experience spans not only years but countries. This past July, Sofia headed to Thailand to work in an orphanage. In 2011, 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 attended the Medicine Institute for high school students at Georgetown University.
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.