Sophie Conlon is a sophomore at Denison University who has distinguished herself with an extraordinary commitment to civic engagement. Sophie's commitment to service started at an early age. When she was ten years old, she volunteered in a café with her parents serving the homeless. She continued her commitment to service throughout her youth by engaging in numerous charitable causes. Upon her arrival at Denison, it seemed only natural that she would extend her dedication and immediately began involving herself with programming to help improve the lives of marginalized populations.
Sophie serves as chair for all campus-wide service days at Denison. Activities for these events include: food collections, blanket collections and assembling over 500 bag lunches for donation to the Salvation Army and other agencies. One event, the 9/11 Day of Service, involved coordinating a family movie night with Licking Memorial Hospital (LMH) and the residents of Granville. LMH provided free health screenings for local residents while Denison student volunteers facilitated games and activities with local children. Under Sophie's leadership, the 2015 event accommodated over 200 participants. Sophie is an extraordinary example of a civic minded student leader.
My passions are rooted in helping others in hopes of creating a world that fosters solidarity, tolerance, and empathy. From a young age, I have worked with people experiencing homelessness-trying to bridge the gap and problem-solve between the two sectors that seem to divide our world: the rich and the poor. My drive for social change became enhanced in college where I now plan service events for the student body off and on campus with local non-profit organizations in hopes of discerning commonalities between the students and the outside world, while embodying tolerant and acceptance to diversified perspectives. Social justice is my driving force and foundation in the service work I do. At Denison, I am a Restorative Justice Coordination-in which I mediate discussions and confrontations between 'harmers' and victims when our student code is violated. This experience teaches me every day that collaborative problem-solving breaks down barriers and unifies people who at one point lacked respect for one another. This new found skill-set that I have obtained due to my commitment to service and restoring justice will enhance and enrich my active participation in the community and after-college world when working with poverty-stricken individuals and disadvantaged populations.