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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Sophia and Vicky
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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Sophia and Vicky

Who has ‘Rustic Spirit’? What is ‘Rustic Spirit’?

Those who have Rustic Spirit aim to better their communities. They’re positive impact-minded and try to solve issues they see in the world. They have empathy and think outside themselves with a larger perspective.

The following young changemakers embody Rustic Spirit and we’re honored to recognize them.

Sophia Reese
Age 18
Jeffersonville High School
Jeffersonville, Indiana

As her involvement in the community has grown, Sophia’s goal has been to boost morale at her school. She’s had the chance to do this in several unique ways, including serving as president and chair of recycling in the InterACT Club. Alongside her peers, Sophia helped launch an annual decathlon for the student crisis fund, first major successful blood drive, and first full-fledged recycling route all at her school.

Sophia intends to major in bioengineering to gain a skill set she can use for everything from building prosthetics to universal playground equipment to sustainable aid. Eventually, she hopes to serve masses of people in niche, unique ways. For the past ten years, Sophia has loved playing basketball, but also played softball and football. When not on the court or field, she’s in the kitchen creating recipes and cooking.

Sophia encourages others to buy into whatever they’re doing completely. If it’s a passion, don’t just pursue it, go after it. There will be times when it feels like there’s nothing left to give, and those times are where it all comes together.

Vicky Maldonado Candia
Age 17
Manhattan Bridges High School
New York City, New York

Since Vicky was given the opportunity to become class president she has actively worked to make positive decisions for her class. Some of her efforts include fundraising through events and bake sales for the Student Government Association, and advocating for things that would be beneficial to students in her school district. Instead of feeling obligated, Vicky wants students to feel excited to come to school.

Vicky plans to major in Political Science and go to law school to become an immigration lawyer. She looks forward to helping people like her mother who came to the U.S. looking for better opportunities, without having to worry about their immigration status. For fun, Vicky enjoys playing intramural volleyball every morning, spending time with friends and family and listening to music.

Vicky advises other students who want to make a positive impact to do something without expecting something in return. She quotes her mother saying, “while we may not all know each other, we must all look out for each other because we don’t know what could happen in the future. We could be someone who needs help some day.” Vicky adds that one’s voice is the most powerful tool in order to make a change; use it!

Nominate a Student

Do you know a student doing valuable work that deserves to be recognized? Nominate them here! Are you making an impact? Tell us about your work here.

Make Change

Interested in creating change in your community? Check out our guide and learn how to make an impact as a student.

At Rustic Pathways, our goal is to make positive contributions to the communities we visit through responsible travel operations and community service projects that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone