Traditional high school was a challenge for Sophia G. because a chronic illness and need for surgery had her missing so many classes that she was falling behind. With a flexible schedule at Learn4Life, she could go at her own pace, and her teachers even made sure she got her assignments when she was home sick or in the hospital.
“I joined our school administrator’s mentor group, and it was one of the most enlightening things I experienced at Learn4Life,” she explained. “He always told me there’s no right time to graduate high school or accomplish anything, there was just your time, and your timing is perfect.”
Sophia enjoyed extracurricular activities, including a leadership trip to Washington D.C. which helped her practice her interview and networking skills. She participated in a pathway community service trip to New Orleans, which opened her eyes to how her own community could use volunteers. “It motivated me to start a leadership club with fellow students to explore how we could make a difference in our neighborhoods,” she explained. “With the help and support from teachers and advisors, we partnered with three other Learn4Life sites to work on bigger community service projects.”
Sophia was chosen to be the speaker for her graduating class and said it was one of her proudest moments and achievements. She attends Long Beach City College with plans to graduate and pursue a master’s in sociology. She wants to become a medical social worker so she can help children and patients feel understood.
“At this school, I learned how to begin advocating for myself unapologetically and teach others to do the same,” she said. “My advice to other high school students is no matter how long the road ahead looks, just keep going. That is what is going to get you to the finish line.”