Junior Maya Sopory ’22 credits Mount Holyoke with helping to expand her world view and enhancing her critical thinking skills. “I am told to question everything, interrogate the status quo, and push the boundaries of my thinking, regardless of the space I am in.”
Through multiple leadership roles, including Student Government Association (SGA) president, Maya has been proud to have a tangible positive impact on the student body, particularly during this tumultuous year. “In these roles I have learned how to become a stronger advocate for the student body and myself, enhanced my leadership skills and developed my capabilities to work within a team. This type of involvement looks very different this year. I am most proud of being able to lead the SGA executive board this year in a remote setting to help achieve board members’ individual — and our collective — goals.” Using the skills she has developed and refined at Mount Holyoke, Maya looks forward to helping others while continuing to find her place in the world.
When you invest in Mount Holyoke, particularly through one of our scholarship aid destinations, you pave the way for ambitious students like Maya to think critically, grow as leaders and help others.
“The Mount Holyoke experience is truly transformative, and it is important that as many people from as many backgrounds as possible have the opportunity to join this community. Your donation helps to remove barriers to access for potential students.”
— Maya Sopory ’22
Politics major and French minor
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Why did you choose Mount Holyoke?
I chose Mount Holyoke because it was my dream school. In my junior year of high school, I unexpectedly received a book award from Mount Holyoke. My English teacher was asked to give the book award to a woman who exemplified leadership skills, empathy and genuine passion for change-making. The book was “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of the College’s Common Read selections, I learned later. Seeing that my values and Mount Holyoke’s aligned, I began to research about the College. The more I learned, the more I knew that it was the place not only where I wanted to be, but where I needed to be.
What do you value most about your Mount Holyoke education? How has this community helped you thrive?
What I value most about my Mount Holyoke education is the emphasis on critical thinking. I am told to question everything, interrogate the status quo, and push the boundaries of my thinking, regardless of the space I am in. It could be in any of my classes, in my cocurriculars or with my friends — Mount Holyoke has helped to expand my worldview and enhanced my critical thinking skills.
What cocurricular activities are you involved in and how have they impacted your academic work?
I have been very involved with the Student Government Association during my time at Mount Holyoke. My first year, I served as the senator for the 2022 class board. My second year I was the chair of committees on the SGA executive board, and this year I am SGA president. I am passionate about this work because it empowers me to make a tangible positive impact on the student body. In these roles I have learned how to become a stronger advocate for both the student body and myself, enhanced my leadership skills and developed my capabilities to work within a team. This type of involvement looks very different this year. I am most proud of being able to lead the SGA executive board this year in a remote setting to help achieve board members’ individual — and our collective — goals. In addition to SGA, I work at the Career Development Center and I am a member of the Pre-Law Association.
Have you participated in any internships or research experiences? What were your top takeaways?
Right now, I am a (remote) Leadership and Public Service Intern for the office of Lindsay Sabadosa for the 1st Hampshire District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. This has been a highly rewarding experience because it has allowed me to put all of the skills that I have gained from Mount Holyoke classes and my SGA leadership positions into practice. I have also really appreciated the ability to peek behind the curtain to see what the legislative process looks like from the inside.
What are your long-term goals and how do you think your Mount Holyoke education will help you to achieve those goals?
I have two goals for my future. The first is to pursue a career after college that focuses on promoting social good and helping people. While I have not clearly articulated my vision for the future yet, I have many options before me, ranging from local politics and legislative work, to an international organization or applying to law school. The skills that Mount Holyoke provides — critical thinking and writing skills — will aid me in any of these fields. The second is to continue to develop my own sense of self and my understanding of my place in the world. The complex discussions that I have, both in and outside of the classroom at Mount Holyoke, have reoriented my thinking to identify the root of intricate problems and to question the ways things are done. The skills and ways of thinking that I have developed at Mount Holyoke serve as an excellent foundation for my second goal.
What would you say to an alum who donates to Mount Holyoke to support things like student scholarship aid and internships?
Thank you so much! The Mount Holyoke experience is truly transformative and it is important that as many people from as many backgrounds as possible have the opportunity to join this community. Your donation helps to remove barriers to access for potential students.
How has scholarship aid impacted your Mount Holyoke experience?
I would not have been able to attend Mount Holyoke without my scholarship. I would have missed out on all the academic and personal growth that has transformed me into the person I am today.