Originally from Mexico, Sofia spent time growing up in Panama, Switzerland, and the United States. This cross-cultural upbringing provided her with an appreciation for parallels between cultures, ideas, and histories. She is inspired by the intersectional approach to dialogue, citizenship, wellness, and service framing SNF Paideia Program’s mission and looks forward to being part of a community of students with diverse and shared interests.
In high school, Sofia participated in Model UN where she learned to appreciate the push back she received on her arguments as opportunities to reframe and improve her abilities as a delegate. Sofia is interested in learning about other people’s experiences and hearing from all people involved in a situation. For instance, during a Citizenship and the Constitution course, Sofia wrote a paper on the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Supreme Court case.
It played on my love for a multi-disciplinary approach, as I explored human rights, politics, and private enterprise. During my research, I noticed the lack of direct media attention on Mr. Phillips, the cake shop owner. Always curious about the perspectives of all parties involved, I called Mr. Phillips and after many exchanges with his lawyers, I interviewed him about how the values of equality and freedom could coexist. While not sharing Mr. Phillips’ view, speaking with him, broadened my understanding of religious freedom and anti-discrimination laws in the justice system.
Sofia is committed to listening to others, especially if she does not share their values of beliefs. She welcomes the opportunity to grow and learn from others’ perspectives.
Academically, Sofia is pursuing a finance and management degree with a minor in nutrition. Her goal is to be a food entrepreneur to address the challenges of equity, sustainability, and accessibility in the food industry. She sees the SNF Paideia Fellowship as an incubator to delve deeper into these diverse areas.
My goals for an environmentally conscious and inclusive food culture requires dialogue, citizenship, wellness, and service. Dialogue is necessary to understand the needs of both consumers and workers, from parents to restaurant workers to Jeff Bezos. Advancing this skill and having discussions with members of the food industry would allow me to have a more concrete sense of the business problem that I want to solve. Dialogue requires respect and a bond that can come from citizenship. With a better understanding of what citizenship means and how we can leverage it, I could create awareness about the importance of including more people in our communities.