Written by Sophia Renner, Student Engagement Coordinator
Hi, SODA network 👋 I'm Sophia, SODA’s new Student Engagement Coordinator. I’m so happy to finally be introducing myself to you all! Some background about me… I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area by my big (and very loud) Cuban/Italian family. After my graduation from Notre Dame Belmont High School, I moved from the Golden State to New Orleans, Louisiana, where I attended Tulane University. NOLA quickly became my second home, and I decided to stick around post-grad to continue enjoying the unbeatable food and festivities.
Does your high school or college have a SODA chapter? Find out by looking at our list of chapters.
Sophia and her family on graduation day at Tulane University!
My Leadership Journey
After losing my middle school’s student council election, I was determined to redeem myself. I joined nearly every leadership committee my high school had to offer, and eventually settled on LinkCrew, a program that paired upperclassmen with incoming freshmen. This was my first experience directly supporting another student, and it taught me the value of good mentorship.
In college, I remained involved in various organizations ranging from community service to Greek life. My most meaningful experience was interning as a Campus Ambassador for Gift of Life Marrow Registry. This position sparked my interest in organ, eye, and tissue donation, and showed me firsthand how impactful education and registration initiatives among a student body can be. My studies in Public Health and Sociology supplemented my passion for helping improve the health outcomes of those in need.
Sophia, her mom, and her sister at the Alzheimer's walk in San Fransisco, walking in honor of her grandparents.
Working With SODA
As Student Engagement Coordinator, it is my goal to use these past experiences to mentor and support a new generation of organ, eye, and tissue donation advocates. I joined the team just as we hit our 50-chapter milestone, so I’m excited to be a resource for our 250+ student leaders! It is my responsibility to help these existing student leaders, as well as future advocates, navigate the process of becoming a chapter, educating their peers, and recruiting new donors. I hope that my role will provide deeper and wider support to our students, and I’m looking forward to activating them as donation advocates to save even more lives.
Start your own high school or college organ donation advocacy chapter with Sophia's support here!
I would like to give a huge thank you to both Sara Miller and Nicole Nidea for giving me the opportunity to work for such an empowering and fulfilling organization. It is truly an honor to be part of such a dedicated team of girl-bosses! I would also like to thank the SODA community for their continued support of our mission. Last but not least, I want to acknowledge the students that volunteer their time with SODA to help save lives. It is amazing to see so many passionate, young leaders making a difference. Thank you for choosing SODA.