Sophia LeRose, Torrey Pines High School

We chatted up with Carmel Valley resident and senior at Torrey Pines High School Sophia LeRose on how she is making a difference in the community.

Q. When did you first begin volunteering and why?

I have been raised in a family that taught us that we lead a blessed life, and that it is important to give back. In elementary school, I joined KidsKorps USA, which was a local nonprofit organization connecting children and families with opportunities to volunteer around San Diego. As I entered middle school, I also volunteered on Saturdays with Miracle League in Solana Beach. This foundation of volunteerism helped me continue that passion in creating Female Athlete Volunteers as I was entering middle school.

Q. What are some of the organizations you are involved with?

I am a co-founder of two different community service based organizations: Female Athlete Volunteers (FAV) and Destination4Good.

When my best friend and I were in preschool at Horizon Prep, no one would have predicted that today we would be leading one of the most popular community service organizations in San Diego. FAV was founded with the desire to be involved in an organization that focused strictly on helping others. FAV was created to support the busy lives of teen athletes who are balancing a rigorous academic load, competitive sports schedules and still had a desire to make a difference across San Diego county. We have expanded from our initial 23 members in 2012 to over 185 members in grades 7-12. We supported 13 organizations our first year and in 2016-2017, we supported 80 different projects around San Diego, collectively completing 1,500+ hours of community service. Since 2012, we have raised over $25,000 supporting Make-A-Wish foundation, the Toussaint Academy, and Voices for Children.

Destination4Good is a nonprofit organization that was founded by my family in 2012 to connect individuals and families with the opportunity to volunteer while on vacation. We were inspired to create this organization after our own experience of raising money through lemonade sales and delivering a mobile library and school supplies to a rural school in Vietnam in 2010. Since then, we pushed the cause forward and personally have served at orphanages and schools in Vietnam, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mexico and Peru, while sending other families to Costa Rica, Kenya, Fiji, Thailand and Brazil.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your community and school?

Growing up in San Diego and living in Carmel Valley is a fabulous environment to be raised in over these past 15 years. Not many high school students across the country can say that they can take a break from homework and run to the beach to do a little surfing. Torrey Pines High School has a large, diverse student population where I have made great friends and been taught by teachers and staff that have inspired me to learn, grow and develop my leadership skills. As President of the Associated Student Body this year, I get to be involved in all aspects of the school and have the chance to work with all of the future leaders of TPHS. I have also been lucky to represent TPHS on multiple sports teams and am most proud of helping the Girls Lacrosse team win back-to-back CIF championships in 2016 and 2017, and have a current undefeated record of 23-0!

Q. What are your interests outside of school and future plans?

Right now, I am most excited about my future plans to attend Duke University in Fall 2018. I will be joining their lacrosse team as a Goalie, and I am looking forward to all of the challenges of moving cross-country, beginning that next chapter of my academic career.