Sophia DeSchiffart

2018 Narraguagus Middle/High School
$5000 R.M. Davis Mainely Character Scholarship

True character includes the ability to change and grow.

When a gay friend asked Sophia to stand up for him by wearing an ally flag, she said no, fearing the reactions of friends and family.  The following fall, she became an outspoken advocate for LBGTQ students when she learned that her friend was being harassed and bullied. She and two other students approached the administration, without success.  She joined the school Civil Rights team. Just a year before, the team had sponsored an awareness event that resulted in considerable community backlash. Sophia went ahead and presented a session at the school, “Equal, Not Special.” She led a a #We Don’t Say campaign inspired by Duke University students, discouraging  the use of derogatory language. Sophia experienced pushback from some members of the community, but has won over others. She presented at a statewide televised conference on changes in her community between the first and second event.

Sophia is also a talented artist who uses her art for social commentary. Her work entitled “Connections” was used as a screensaver on Maine Learning Technology Initiative devices and her work “Changing the Way We See” was given a Maine Developmental Disabilities Council Inclusion Award. Sophia is presently a student at Yale University.

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