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The Voices of ASH

Sophia S '20: on Leadership

How long have you attended Sacred Heart?
15 years

What are your future plans for college and beyond?
Fordham University. I would love to major business in hopes of becoming a CEO one day.

What is your favorite Sacred Heart memory?
Mater’s Feast and winning dance at Rally for our sophomore, junior and senior years.

How do you describe success?
I believe everyone has their own personal definition of success. For me, success is not measured in awards or titles, but instead I describe success as helping others, achieving personal goals, and being proud of myself and the work I have done. 

How did Sacred Heart prepare you for student leadership?
Sacred Heart teaches students so much more than academics. I have learned to be a leader through the encouragement of friends and faculty who have shown me how to push beyond my comfort zone. No matter what grade I was in, I was constantly encouraged to be active members in our school and communities. From chartering clubs to community service, Sacred Heart has always given me opportunities to teach me how to become a better leader. 

How do you balance academics with your extracurricular activities? 
Balancing academics with extracurriculars is not always easy, but all of the hard work and endless hours are always rewarding I do a lot of extracurricular activities in and outside of school – I am student council president; I am on the golf and dance teams; and I do ballet.

I am constantly faced with the challenge of balancing all of these activities with academics. I do this by taking everything one step and one day at a time, and by finding joy in the things I do for others.

If I viewed everything I have to do as checking a box on a to-do list, it would be meaningless; but when I begin a long day with a positive and intentful mindset, I find it easier to tackle my work with joy. 

What does being a Sacred Heart leader mean to you?
To me, being a leader means setting a positive example for my peers and community. I strive to do this with the help of Student Council by creating an inclusive and supportive environment for our Upper School community. It is important to me that Upper School knows leadership is not positional; you do not have to be on student council or in a specific club to initiate change.

As a Sacred Heart leader, I aim to show our community the importance of leadership and service, and to be someone that my peers turn to and trust in any situation.

Anything you want to add about confidence?
Confidence is a difficult skill that I have gained over time, and it is something I will work on forever. As a leader you have to be confident. If you are not confident in yourself, your work, or your message, it will be hard for others to be confident in you. For me, I have learned to gain confidence by repeatedly doing small things that put me out of my comfort zone until I have no issue doing them.

For example, I used to be anxious about reading the prayer to Upper School every Monday and Thursday at our morning assemblies. After a few weeks of doing it, I learned to trust myself and my public speaking skills. Now it is one of my favorite parts of each week! It is through small actions like this that I have gained confidence in myself as a leader, one small step at a time. 

How have you adjusted to distant learning? And/or how is distant learning working for you?
At first, the transition to distant learning was challenging. But I soon got the hang of it and I appreciate it for what it is. {Distant learning} keeps me connected to my classmates, teachers, and classwork. I am very thankful that Sacred Heart has implemented a program to keep us going through this challenging time. 

What have you learned about yourself during this "shelter in place" time in history?
I have learned that it is very difficult for me not to socialize with my friends and teachers every day. I am the type of person that has to constantly be moving and learning, so it has been difficult for me to be at home for such a long time. Thankfully, I have still been talking with my friends and working with my Exec Board members to try and find ways to keep school spirit alive during this time!
 
As a senior, what message do you have for the rest of your younger Sacred Heart sisters?
I have learned to value and cherish every moment of being a Sacred Heart student. Being away from school I miss obvious things such as seeing my friends, but I would do anything to go back and celebrate one last all school mass, or sit in one more Monday morning assembly. I would remind my Sacred Heart sisters of the importance of our amazing Sacred Heart community. I would tell them to cherish the time they spend with not only their friends but with everyone around them, because Sacred Heart memories last a lifetime.