Sophia Burke’s high school experience at Hanford has been full of ups and downs. As a freshman she hurt her shoulder playing competitive volleyball and injured herself further when she got into a car accident. Both incidents required multiple surgeries, which resulted in her missing school and caused her to struggle academically.
As a sophomore, she experienced the negative elements of cliques and peer pressure. So when the pandemic hit and schools shut down, Sophia says she was relieved.
Then the reality set in. Online school was difficult, and Sophia’s mental health took a nosedive. She ended up failing two classes.
Though she felt defeated, Sophia took solace in the history and government classes she liked. However, when senior year rolled around she was shocked when she saw two Advanced Placement classes on her schedule: AP U.S. Government & Politics and AP English Lit.
“I thought it was a joke,” she says about her enrollment into AP classes. “My grades weren’t good enough.” But teachers saw her potential.
After sitting through the first week of AP classes her senior year, she decided to give it a try. “I really liked my teachers,” she says. “I thought, ‘I can do this.’ I am going to just put my heart into my studies.”
Sophia is finishing her high school career with A’s in both her AP classes. She was accepted into Eastern Washington University where she wants to study Criminal Justice and eventually become an FBI agent.