Sophia Lopresti is a junior Global Studies major at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is dedicated to helping immigrants from Central America and improving healthcare access around the world. She shares this passion for international service work with others through Global Brigades, a nonprofit for holistic development in Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, and Ghana. Sophia is the Campus Chairperson of UMBC's Global Brigades programs. This year, in addition to volunteering with the Esperanza Center to help immigrants learn English, she oversees the organization of six trips to Panama and Nicaragua, encouraging more than 100 students to directly impact the health, economy, and rights of communities there.
Those who work with Sophia note her empathy and desire to help above all else. Her leadership and presence in a group reminds those around her to practice compassion and consideration when interacting with anyone or solving any problem. She encourages others to be involved in service and advocates for immigrants' rights and healthcare access on a daily basis.
My service work focuses on making health improvements for immigrant and international populations. While studying at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, I have the opportunity to work with immigrant communities in Baltimore City to improve their transition to the United States and their experience with the healthcare system. Over the past three years, I have done this by teaching English to Central American immigrants at the Esperanza Center and volunteering in the Emergency Room at St. Agnes Hospital, assisting Spanish-speaking patients before their official translators arrived. I have spent every spring break and summer working with communities in Nicaragua, Panama, and Indonesia on public health programming, teaching English, and anything else the community/nonprofit expresses interest in. It is my passion to learn the languages and cultures of other places and understand their needs. I cannot wait to graduate and continue my life of service to others-at home and abroad!