Another eye-opening experience has been going on service trips. Her first service trip occurred when she was 10 years old and she went to Haiti. That trip was interesting to her because Haiti is such a beautiful country, but the area that she visited had a lot of poverty so that was the first time that she saw with her own eyes kids who didn’t have enough food to grow to the right height, people living in houses that were dangerous for them so these experiences kept that feeling going inside her that this wasn’t fair that this was going on and that she needed to keep trying to do something about it. She went back to Haiti a few years ago and then this past summer she went to Guatemala and worked on a water project there. Everyone at home at her church raised the money and sent it to Guatemala so that the people could build a well for clean water. She displayed a picture of two women who were able to turn on clean water in their homes for the first time from the money that Sophia’s church had raised. Both of the women said that when they were young they didn’t get to go to school because everyday they had to walk to get water. In this specific village, the girls would walk six hours total. They’d walk three hours to get water that wasn’t that clean and then they’d walk three hours with a heavy bucket home. So now that they have clean water in their home they think that maybe now they can go to school or do other types of things.
Because Sophia loves singing and writing songs, she recently went on American Idol and performed a song that she wrote called “Good News Generation” and it was about how she wanted all of the kids across the country and across the world to realize that it’s up to us if we make good happen in the world so she really wanted to do something to share the song so she tried out for American Idol and she made it through the first three rounds of it, and she got to perform for Katy Perry and the other judges. The coolest part of it was that people got to hear the song, hear the message. That’s the cool thing about TV. We have this huge opportunity to share good things with people, and I think, as we get older we’ll be able to do that more often. Even though they didn’t end up showing my song on the show, the song got to be on Rhode Island and New York news so a few people got to hear the message, which was the most important part.
These stories and experiences really opened Sophia’s eyes. She was very surprised that something that bad could be going on for someone else, and knowing about those things is good because that drives you to want to go do something to help people going through something bad.
The point of this is that I’m hoping that I’m a small bit of an example that what I’ve said I’ve done hasn’t affected millions of people or thousands of people, but every single one of us has talents. Every single one of us has abilities and we all have this huge opportunity to go to school so even though we sometimes say we have to do our homework and different things. We are all so lucky to be able to learn how to read and write and be able to grow up and get different jobs so we all have to figure out ways that we can use these abilities to help other people. We only get this one life and we’re so blessed to have it so why wait to you’re older to try and make a difference in other people’s lives when you can do it right now. It doesn’t matter if you’re 8 or 9 or 12. You can make a difference in other people’s lives right now if you keep learning about the things going on in the world.
It’s up to our generation to make change in the world so soon enough it feels like we don’t really have control over a lot that goes on, but soon enough we are going to be the ones who are the politicians, doctors, teachers who are in charge of everything so if we keep learning about all of the things going on in the world and the hard things that people are facing, then hopefully as we get older and we’re in those positions that get to decide what happens in the world, we’ll do good things with that and our generation is more connected than any other generation ever in the world. If you think about it our grandparents and parents didn’t have the Internet when they were younger. They didn’t have Instagram or the different things that you can send out information to so many people so get to hear about everything that goes on in the world so hopefully we can use that to want to help everyone else.