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Parting Words of Advice from our Founder and Outgoing Board President

Written by Sara Royf, Board President and Founder 


As I prepare for my final days as SODA’s Board President, I’ve been reflecting on my journey of growing SODA from one chapter to 75 chapters.


Sara's journey as SODA's Board President will be ending on April 1st. Learn more about this transition.


Over the past decade, I’ve celebrated a lot of wins:

  • Establishing the first SODA chapter at Washington University in St. Louis in 2014

  • Receiving SODA’s official 501(c)(3) status after expanding to new campuses

  • Transitioning SODA from a volunteer-run organization to an organization with full-time, paid staff

  • Growing SODA’s budget to $250k per year


Take a walk down memory lane with Sara's first-ever SODA blog.


Sara with some of the original SODA chapter leaders

Sara with some of the original SODA chapter leaders


  1. Have a bias toward action—if you are ever wondering whether you should plan or act, act! You will always learn more by acting than by planning. 

  2. Big changes happen one step at a time—if you want to change the world, start with a single step. This could be making a flyer, recording a TikTok video, or sending a personalized email.  

  3. Be curious—when someone says they disagree with you, don’t try to convince them why you’re right. Ask questions. When someone has a new idea for you, ask them to tell you more. You never know what you’ll learn in the process. 


Apply these lessons to your very own SODA chapter. Start the application process now.


I feel immensely grateful to have been part of this organization for the past decade, and I’m looking forward to applying these lessons to my next endeavors. I know this is still just the beginning of SODA’s life-saving impact, so I’m hoping that these lessons help our student leaders and the SODA National Team, too.


Cheers to our students, Erin, Nicole, Sophia, and many more lives saved!


Erin (SODA's incoming Board President), Sophia (SODA's Engagement Manager), Sara, and Nicole (SODA's Program Director) together in November 2023

Erin (SODA's incoming Board President), Sophia (SODA's Engagement Manager), Sara, and Nicole (SODA's Program Director) together in November 2023


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