Meet Sophia: PeerForward Has Been Family To Me
PeerForward alumni have followed many career paths and found much success. Here, Sophia Flemming shares her journey.
When did you become a part of PeerForward? Please share about your summer workshop experience?
I became a part of PeerForward back in 2009, the summer before my senior year in high school. The workshop was held at Nova Southeastern University. It was one of the best experiences of my life. What stood out about my summer workshop was the PeerForward Staff and Alumni Leaders. They were so welcoming and made me feel like family right away. I connected with other students that didn’t necessarily go to my school and found that we had things in common. I absolutely loved my Alumni Leaders. They were always there for us and offered words of advice and just a simple smile to brighten my day. They reassured my peers and I to trust the process and that it would all be worth it in the end. Our Rap Directors made us feel comfortable to share stories and accomplishments. They let us know that our obstacles that we encountered in life were put there for a reason and our obstacles ultimately make us stronger. Every rap session brought us closer together and helped formed a bond that’s unbreakable till this day. My workshop was so dynamic and left an everlasting impression on me. It is the reason why I served as an Alumni Leader for four years and it is the reason why I will continue to support PeerForward in any way that I can.
How did PeerForward help you to prepare for college? How has PeerForward influenced your college experience?
PeerForward gave me valuable tools that prepared me for college such as personal statement writing, information on financial aid and completing college applications. PeerForward has been family to me since my 2009 workshop. They’re continuous support, and serving as an alumni leader influenced my college experience tremendously. PeerForward gave me the drive and determination to continue on in college. Knowing that I had peer leaders who not only looked up to me as an Alumni Leader but as a role model was motivation in its on capacity. The saying, “In PeerForward we don’t just attend college, we graduate” stuck out in my mind constantly; especially in the moments I felt like giving up. Graduating from college this May was such an amazing experience and I could not have done it without my PeerForward family.
What obstacles or challenges did you have to overcome in order to get to college?
Being able to afford college was a big issue for me as well as making my mom feel comfortable with allowing me to go to college out of the city. My GPA in high school wasn’t the best, therefore I didn’t get any academic scholarships but I managed to find aid to help me pay my tuition for the 5 years I spent in school. I did have to take out loans, but I believe that it will all be worth it.
How did you and the peer leaders at your high school help create a college-going culture?
We had a college acceptance wall in our college advisor’s office where we could post our acceptance letters as they came in or participate in the video contest that PeerForward spearheaded, and various college representatives visited my high school to talk to us about their college.
What campus activities are you involved in?
Reporter and Trainer for B-CU Campus TV.
What do you plan to do after college?
I plan on going to graduate school to obtain a Master’s in Business Administration while continuing to intern at news stations and shadowing reporters/anchors until I reach my goal of being a news reporter for a local news station.
What advice do you have for high school seniors who are on the fence about going to college?
College will be one of the greatest experiences of your life. It’s a place where you not only learn about your field of study, you also learn about yourself. You will find yourself evolving from freshmen year until you graduate and it’s such a beautiful experience. You will meet new people, go to new places and experience things that you could not experience unless you attend college. The pride that you’ll have in your school and the family that you’ll gain makes the college experience worth it. It is an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.