Trailblazer: Sophia Z.
Hi! I’m Sophia, a 13-year-old from California. I live with my mom, dad, (younger) sister Ella, and two dogs. I spend lots of time having fun, exploring, and laughing with my family. We are a tight and inseparable pack, and I love them to the moon and back. Our dogs, Chanel and Winston, are also a very important piece to our family. They are both seven-year-old goldendoodles. Chanel seems to have an endless amount of energy, while Winston spends his days laying around, and without them, our family would be incomplete. I’ve lived in California my whole life, but since I’m Persian/American, I can speak, read, and write in Farsi. In addition to this, I have also been taking Spanish for almost two years now, with a dream to one day be fluent in the language.
Ever since I was young, I have been exploring new sports. I’ve participated in tennis, basketball, surfing, swimming soccer, skiing, snowboarding, and my recent interest, mountain biking. None of which really stuck with me except for soccer and snowboarding. I have been playing soccer since I was six, but not competitively until about three years ago. It may sound cheesy, but to me, the joy of soccer comes from when all your hard work pays off during a game.
The first snow sport I was introduced to was skiing. I loved it, always bolting down the mountain and thinking that it couldn't get much better—until I discovered snowboarding. My six-year-old self thought snowboarding was the coolest thing ever. When I was seven, my dad and I tried snowboarding in Aspen, Colorado. I was terrible at it and my dad made the decision to never snowboard again, but I kept at it. I continue to snowboard, and my passion for the sport has only grown. I have begun to explore the realms of the snowboarding terrain park, where I can do jumps and tricks now that I have advanced in the sport. The reason I love snowboarding so much is because you have the ability to do things you would have never dreamed of. I know that my six-year-old self who once longed to snowboard would be proud of what she could do today.
Another hobby of mine is music. I play guitar and piano, and sing. I find it so fascinating how something so beautiful can be made just by an instrument and your voice. I have been playing piano for about seven years now, [and] I have learned so much. I have been playing guitar for about six years now, and with that came singing. Singing added a whole new realm to my passion for music. My favorite genres of music to listen to and play are rock and alternative. Rock music challenges my [voice] by pushing it to hit notes I didn’t know I could, low and high. Alternative music is also relatively easier to play than rock, while still creating something everyone can enjoy. I cherish the moments when I turn on my amplifier and rock out with my electric guitar, or when I’m on the couch playing a slow song. I love that it’s so easy to make something that can make me rock out, laugh, smile, or just feel something. I love listening to music and recently have been trying out songwriting. Of course, I’m still a beginner and don’t know much about the field, but I think that through practice and consistency I can get where I want with my music.
An interest I have is the negative and positive impacts of social media. It may sound like a cheesy or repeatedly mentioned topic, but that doesn’t change the fact it is important. I believe that social media has tremendous influence, good and bad, specifically on youth. I know many people who immerse themselves in the good of social media, but I also know people who surround themselves with negative influencers on these different social media platforms. A good example of positive influencers are accounts promoting and being good examples of the Bahá’í Faith. A good amount of the time, good comes with bad and bad comes with good, and currently, in my opinion, the bad overpowers the good. There are pointless accounts giving youth the wrong idea, in no way preparing them to be spiritual, well-rounded people. The good can overpower and completely block out the bad through effort by me and others. I haven’t figured out quite yet what I can do, but I think that young voices are some of the most powerful.
Some goals I have in life are to promote the Bahá’í Faith and women’s rights. I’m so grateful to have grown up in Bahá’í household and it is my job to pass the bounty of being a Bahá’í to others. How must the Faith grow if the youth and junior youth don’t spread it? Also, as a girl, I feel it is my duty (along with all other girls) to stand up for ourselves. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “The world of humanity has two wings—one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible.” It’s hard for me to believe that people think that one gender is superior to the other. God created each for a reason and assigned to them each such prominent roles.
One of my favorite things to do is travel. My family travels a lot, whether it’s to ski, snowboard, and sled in the winter or [visit the] Maldives in the summer (well, technically during the summer [here] it’s winter there). I love exploring new places and seeing the beauty of the world outside of the United States.
Something I strongly believe in is love. Without it, nothing can be achieved and the world cannot become unified. Without love, there is prejudice, hatred, and exclusion. Everyone is from God, poor or rich, black or white, native or immigrant. No one on earth has an excuse to treat people with anything other than love. Without love, the world cannot come together.Discover322 Bahá’í Faith318 Trailblazers21 Music142 Sports29 Equality of Women and Men29 Goals158 Travel56