Wellington High valedictorian has eyes on Silicon Valley


While most Palm Beach County high school students were able to establish a name for themselves starting in elementary school, valedictorian Sophia Sosa had to start from scratch. But before the Wellington High School student rose to the top of her class, she reigned supreme in the school’s chapter of DECA, a student marketing organization as part of its marketing academy, finding both social and academic success.

“My first year at Wellington, I just moved here from Long Island (New York),” she explained. “Through DECA, I made a lot of my friends.”

She would join the DECA executive board and become a chairwoman of the competition committee her sophomore, junior and senior years. She also became chairwoman of the events committee, which is a subcommittee within the executive board. “The marketing academy had a really big impact on me,” she said.

At conferences, Sosa competed in the roleplay category where a participant is given an arbitrary business scenario. “It’s like really on your feet,” she noted. Participants get 10 minutes to come up with a plan on how they’re going to solve the issue, and then another 10 minutes to present it to a judge, she explained.

“I made it all the way to the international level my freshman year.”

At the district, state and international levels, trophies are awarded for advancing. “My junior year was most successful. I placed first at districts, first at states and in the top 10 internationally.”

When Sosa, who maintained a 3.9 GPA and 5.3 HPA, wasn’t flourishing as a marketing maven, she was busy promoting sustainability within her community. She’s been a member of environmental club for all four years, serving as treasurer since her sophomore year. As chairwoman of the community outreach committee, Sosa is responsible for documenting the school’s sustainability efforts and events such as beach cleanups, which helped it acquire the green school award her junior year. 

But perhaps most the teen’s most impressive sustainable outreach is her work as the president of Feed Those in Need, a club she found after completing the Pine Jog Fellowship through Florida Atlantic University, which required students to come up with environmentally sustainable projects.

Sosa’s concept entailed redistributing food waste, where she and several others visit Brooklyn Water Bagels every Sunday to pick up bagels and redistribute them to a children’s shelter. At her final presentation for the fellowship, Sosaannounced that she’d redistributed more than 500 pounds of bagels. And because it didn’t make sense to cease the deliveries, Sosa brought the club idea to her school advisor.

Shehas won the Task Force essay contest, which included a scholarship prize; received the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education’s (AICE) Outstanding Learner Top of the World Award for the final paper in her global perspectives class, placing in the top 1.2 percent internationally; and was presented with an Outstanding Witness Award after devising a defense case for an embezzlement situation presented before the Supreme Court of San Francisco as part of an intensive law and mock trial program at Stanford University the summer of her sophomore year.

After acceptance into the University of Florida, University of Central Florida, a third of the undergraduate University of California schools (Berkeley, San Diego and Santa Barbara), and Cornell University in New York, Sosa settled happily on Stanford, to which she brings over 35 credits and plans to major in international relations.

Sosa admits “a big part of it was the location … right in the heart of Silicon Valley.” Her five-year plan includes pathways to a master of business administration or law school after college, and would like to stay in the Bay Area for its job opportunities. “An internship at Tesla would be really cool. I am really interested in all of the things Elon Musk is doing.”

Sosa added, “My dream job would be a sales representative for a major brand like Adidas or Nike.” She likes the different collaborations Adidas has been doing with artists Pharrell and Kanye West, and the fact that being a representative would decide what goes on the shelves as far as clothing goes.

Don’t worry — Sosa threw marketing manager into the mix, too.

Although Stanford has a Women in Business organization, the senior mentioned “I plan on proposing a DECA chapter to the campus.”

So how did Sosa do it all? “Definitely just planning well … time-management was a big part of it,” she said. “With online platforms for learning, I was able to manage my time better.” She noted if she understood something, she could just jump past it.

Seems logical.

To other students seeking the top spot of their class, Sosa remarked “I would tell them to find the most beneficial way to lay out your schedule so your courseload is rigorous and you’re still able to handle it.”

See valedictorians’ stories at palmbeachpost.com/valedictorians/

Q&A

What are your hobbies?

Looking at memes, eating, going to new places, listening to music, meeting new people and going to concerts.

What would you do if you were invisible for a day?

Travel.

If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be?

Elon Musk.

What is the best advice you ever received?

“Don’t get lost in the sauce” by Gucci Mane.

What event in history would you have liked to have witnessed?

The creation of the fresh avocado vine.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

Bathing my hamsters.

Who is your hero, someone who inspires you?

Chance the Rapper.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

Both of my thumbs are double-jointed.

What three things would you bring with you if you were stuck on a desert island?

My phone, LTE, a boat.

 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

UPDATE: Boca Mayor Susan Haynie’s court arraignment today canceled
UPDATE: Boca Mayor Susan Haynie’s court arraignment today canceled

Update Thursday at 6:30 a.m.: Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie’s arraignment hearing Thursday was canceled.  The hearing hasn’t yet been rescheduled. Haynie pleaded not guilty to the four felony and three misdemeanor charges. Original story: The first court hearing in Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie’s public corruption case is...
'The Chew' canceled: ABC kills foodie talk show amid Mario Batali allegations
'The Chew' canceled: ABC kills foodie talk show amid Mario Batali allegations

ABC’s appetite for afternoon talk show “The Chew” is over after seven years. Instead, a third hour of “Good Morning America” will air at 1 p.m. starting this fall.  “The Chew,” currently hosted by Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Michael Symon, replaced “All My Children” in 2011. Former...
T.I. rails against Houston's restaurant after actresses' arrests from bathroom
T.I. rails against Houston's restaurant after actresses' arrests from bathroom

Renewed criticism is emerging for Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta as three actresses say they were wrongfully arrested and attacked at the Peachtree Road restaurant after using the restroom. The Atlanta Police Department is investigating whether an off-duty officer working security at the restaurant used excessive force, the agency told...
Growth slowing across Palm Beach County, Census figures show
Growth slowing across Palm Beach County, Census figures show

Population growth slowed in nearly every nook and cranny of Palm Beach County, Census Bureau estimates released Thursday show. In the latest year reported, population growth was typically two-thirds of what it had been a year earlier, and many cities grew at about half the rate of this decade’s average. Boynton Beach was the best at keeping its...
Jupiter bus driver being called ‘a hero’ after saving child’s life
Jupiter bus driver being called ‘a hero’ after saving child’s life

Every day Sharonda Akins, of West Palm Beach, picks up the same group of Jupiter Farms Elementary School students from their bus stop and drops them off at the end of the day. She has learned all their names and even plays Kidz Bop as she drives them. But around 2:15 on May 15, Akin’s typical Tuesday took a scary turn. She was forced to act on...
More Stories