2021 Freestone Future Leaders Scholarship Winner: Meet Sofia Leotta

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We recently announced the five winners of our 2021 Freestone Future Leaders Scholarship and invite you to get to know these passionate young adults.

Hometown: Bothell, Washington

College: University of Washington

Intended Major: Environmental or Civil Engineering

Sofia is graduating from Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Washington and will be joining the Honors Program at the University of Washington where she plans to pursue environmental or civil engineering. The University resonated with her not only because of the ample opportunities it has to offer but also because she is passionate about giving back to the community in which she grew up. 

In high school, Sofia found a way to blend three of her other passions–agriculture, food science and sustainability–in the form of AgConnection. Sofia is the Vice President and co-founder of the organization which seeks to educate youth about the importance of food science and the opportunities or possible career paths that exist within the field. Sofia conducts workshops at elementary schools and uses AgConnection to provide the young students with the financial resources and mentoring to start their own projects, such as finding ways to reduce food waste. The organization has already expanded but Sofia hopes college can facilitate further growth and the involvement of even more students.

Another way Sofia fostered her passion for the environment and green practices was as president of her school’s EarthCorps club. The club works to drive change through education and events that support positive environmental actions. Sofia is also a Project Manager Intern for Sustainability Ambassadors and used the role to help design and implement the Green Jobs Youth Pathways initiative. The initiative encourages youth to consider green jobs and allows them to explore environmentally conscious career paths. Sofia advocates that any job can and should be a green job and she hosts webinars and panel events that connect students with professionals already in the green industry. Sofia’s work has helped her school win awards as it participates in the King County Green Schools Program.

She will miss the organizations she was involved in during high school, such as writing for her school paper, but she is looking forward to deepening her roots in the greater Seattle region over the next four years. She is eager to take advantage of the opportunity to meet people at the University of Washington who share similar goals and want to drive change. Sofia, who was recently named a National Merit Finalist, is also excited to challenge herself academically and take courses that allow her to recognize and solve problems that exist outside of the classroom.

Sofia might be found rollerblading around campus in the fall thanks to hours of practice during quarantine. She also enjoys reading and spending time with her two cats.

Posted By: Alison Rambaldini