Senior Spotlight: Sofia Besharati
By Jennifer Fogarty, communications content manager
Get to know one of our graduating seniors and how she wants to leave her mark on the world.
The United States is the third country that Sofia Besharati ’20 has lived, so it’s no surprise that she is interested in studying international relations. Her family left Australia when she was 10 years old for Shanghai, China, and they moved to San Diego the summer before she began seventh grade at LJCDS.
“I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do, but I've always known I wanted to be able to travel and leave an impact,” shares Sofia. “My dream right now is to be a diplomat and work in foreign policy. I'm really interested in being a key player in the world through diplomacy by making a difference and leaving something behind that's very tangible. Coming to Country Day and joining TorreyMUN (Model United Nations) really solidified that.”
Being a member of TorreyMUN has given Sofia the opportunity to test the waters. The Model UN simulation club has had an impact on her public speaking skills, critical thinking and global awareness during the interactive competition. It has also allowed her to participate in conferences at UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Yale and The Hague in the Netherlands. Sofia even helped facilitate the first Model UN conference hosted by LJCDS.
In 2019, Sofia had another opportunity to travel and demonstrate public speaking skills when she and her fellow entrepreneurs in design and innovation (Sydney Strawn ’20 and Leah Weiser ’20) attended the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago. They presented their invention, Collapsicatch, in front of a panel of six professionals and at the LJCDS student booth. Collapsicatch is a collapsible silicone splatter and boil over shield with a spoon rest for pans. As the only high schoolers out of 2,200 exhibitors, corporate executives and investors were impressed nevertheless and the students received offers to help move their product along.
“Creating a product in a startup company and physically going through all the steps of designing a prototype and having it produced taught me so much about the real world in a way that I hadn't experienced before and definitely never thought I would have learned in high school,” she shares.
As a well-rounded student who possesses multiple passions, Sofia has found it easy to maneuver between different interests at LJCDS. She is a co-founding member of the Design and Innovation Fellowship Program, peer leader for incoming freshmen, student ambassador, member of the Chinese Honor Society and Community Service Board, captain and MVP of the track team and is one of the top volunteers at the Braille Institute.
Sofia will be attending Northwestern in the fall. She fell in love with the school after attending a two-week summer ethics course. She is looking forward to exploring Northwestern’s international studies program and makerspace.
“At Country Day, every single one of my teachers and all the people I’ve been in contact with have been a mentor in some capacity. They are so willing to help and want you to succeed,” shares Sofia. “I realized that’s something I need in college as well.”