By ANDREW NELSON, Staff reporter | Published May 15, 2014
Marist School nominated senior Sophie Gonzalez to be recognized in The Georgia Bulletin, adding that with Sophie’s background, “her intelligence and initiative, and her concern for others make her a wonderful member of our community.”
ATLANTA—Sophie Gonzalez walks the sidelines to interview coaches, players and parents, looking to add insight to Marist School sports.
And like any good journalist, she pushes the line, like once when she joined the Marist baseball team dugout during a game.
“I really wanted to challenge myself. It took me out of my comfort zone,” said Gonzalez, a founding member of the Marist Broadcasting Club. Her junior year she was a regular anchor person for the school’s morning news, but now she likes to be behind the scenes or broadcasting games.
The club covers Marist, from student plays and prayer services to a weekly 10-minute morning broadcast of feature stories.
“It’s really transformed me as a speaker, a writer, in everyday life. The lessons I learned from it are really valuable,” said Gonzalez, who served as an anchor, wrote scripts, and ran the teleprompter.
She is 17 and the oldest daughter of Anna and Wilfredo Gonzalez. Her brother is also a student at the independent Catholic school. She ran with the cross country team her senior year, part of a team that brought back the state title for the fifth consecutive year. And on the weekends, she’ll lace up her shoes for a five-mile run. “You have time to think about life,” she said. The family worships at Our Lady of Assumption Church in Atlanta.
She’s headed to Georgia Tech as a member of the class of 2018. She intends to study both business and pre-law courses. Her long-term goal is working in the world of business, after graduate school.
Gonzalez’s interest during high school led her to take the school’s most advanced course in English, as well as an internship in the marketing division of Havertys Furniture.
Language is “an expression of independence. If you can’t articulate or express what you want to say, you can’t go anywhere,” said Gonzalez, a writer and section editor for the Blue & Gold, Marist’s student newspaper. She finds the “inside scoop” about the arts scene on campus. “I like to uncover what really makes something special, what people don’t always realize contributes,” she said. She profiled two overlooked parts of a theater performance, backdrops and lighting.
John McGreaham, a longtime Marist teacher, taught her in ninth grade and also when she took journalism as an independent study.
“Sophie is outgoing, bright, mature, and responsible, and always meets her deadlines (for a school paper adviser this is very important),” he said in an email.
Faith and service are important to her, which is why she served as a confirmation leader at her parish and is president of the school chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
Students can do anything to help Habitat, from baking for the bake sale and donating money to supporting the club’s fundraising basketball tournament to help others.
“Even in the slightest way, you are helping to make someone’s life brighter,” she said.
She landed the leadership position when she lobbied businesses in the area to contribute to welcome baskets for those moving in, who help to build their own homes. These are baskets of cleaning supplies the new homeowners receive, in addition to keys to the front door.
She said, “You are using your blessings to extend a small bit of happiness to someone else.”