Meet Sophia, our Inspiring Little Citizen from Rochester, New York. Sophia is an inspiring example of not judging a book by its cover. Because as a 7 ½-year-old with alopecia, she knows what it feels like when others do. She’s on a mission to spread the message of choosing curiosity and friendliness over assumption and exclusion. She made a video at school to teach her peers about her condition, and she treats others with visible differences the way she hopes to be treated–not with fear or judgment, but with connectedness and understanding.
Read on to learn more about Sophia and how she’s setting out to make a difference.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m 7 and a half, my favorite color is gold, and I love to DANCE! I also love to act and sing, and am passionate about fashion. I do karate, and enjoy painting and drawing all kinds of things. I’m silly and laugh often.
How did you get involved in helping others?
When I’m out with my family and I notice that someone looks a little different, I get curious. I know how important it is to be curious and friendly, and not to judge a book by its cover. It’s important to me to be a kind friend to everyone, especially when other people point at them, or stare, or jump to conclusions that they are “different”. I think I started thinking and feeling this way because, even though I like to be my own person and typically stand out from the crowd (because of my alopecia), I know that it doesn’t feel good when other people do those things. So, I decided that I want to figure out how to share information about alopecia so that people know what it is and aren’t afraid, or mean. Also, so they don’t think I’m sick, because I’m not. I may look a little different on the outside, but I’m very healthy and full of energy!
How does helping others make you feel?
It makes me feel happy to feel like I’m helping, and being a good friend.
What do you hope the donation from Tea will accomplish?
I hope to use the donation to help teach kids how to handle when someone looks different. Kids need a lot of information and also some ways to practice being curious, and I want to use the donation from Tea to create classes or learning materials to help them understand more about alopecia and other visible differences.
What do you want to do next? Do you have any big plans or ideas to make your community a better place?
I made a video at my school about alopecia. I wanted everyone to know what it was, and not to be worried that I have something contagious. I also wanted them to understand that when they point or stare it can be hurtful. I want to share more information like this with lots of people so that we can be more curious and kind. There are all kinds of differences, and that’s what makes us unique and special. I want to find ways to help my community learn how to celebrate what makes each of us special, and not to bully those who stand out or look different.
Head to TeaCollection.com and shop through August 5th to help support Sophia in her mission to raise money for the Children’s Alopecia Project, a non-profit organization that promotes education and awareness around the life-altering disease.