Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sofia Isart Loves Helping Others

Memorial High grad Gladys “Sofia” Isart is so sunny and bright one of her favorite campus teachers wrote about how Sofia changed her life rather than vice versa.

Writes Sherri Boyd, an American History teacher: “You were one of the first names I learned last year, even if I learned it wrong [at first], because you would smile your way into the room, ‘Good morning! I missed you over the weekend, Ms. Boyd! . . . and smile your way out, ‘Bye, Boyd! Love you!’”

“You have a remarkable ability to be positive, to see the good in everyone, and to brighten up even the most disheartened soul. Luckily, some of that rubbed off on me, and I am a better person because of you. . . You are a huge part of the reason why I love what I do,” Ms. Boyd said about one of her favorite students.

Sofia plans to take her keen interest in serving people, pets and the natural world to Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas. Several years ago, Sofia moved to Houston with her family from El Salvador. Her family fled the crime and insecurity that has ravaged much of that Central American country in recent years.

Her father, a medical doctor, left his profession behind, too, but his daughter may follow in his M.D. footsteps with her own interest in medicine, especially nursing. She was a volunteer in a summer program at Methodist Hospital and also learned to talk with and even celebrate with Memorial Hospice patients.

A typical Sofia moment: A dying hospice patient reached out to her to help with flower arrangements after finding the love of her life – late in life – and taking time to get married. “With that patient, I felt happy, not sad,” Sofia recalls.

“I love helping people,” Sofia says. “At first, I wanted to be a medical doctor, but I was inspired by what I saw with nurses and nursing. I said to myself, ‘I want to be a nurse.’ I’m looking forward to making money, but I really do want to have a real impact on people. I think that nurses do that.”

Her career dream at this moment is to work in a neurological nursing unit, maybe at Methodist Hospital where she volunteered, and help support her mom and dad here in Houston.

Her father, who she describes as her “teddy bear,” is one of her heroes. Matching her sunny personality, Sofia doesn’t have just one favorite Memorial teacher, but a small army of educator heroes.

They include Michelle Ammon in Memorial English. “She made me believe in myself. She taught me that I didn’t need to go to Michigan or a certain brand-name college, and to choose a college based on a major rather than the college based on where friends go.”

Anthony Duke in Memorial Physics helped her learn a difficult subject. “He made me feel so smart, like I understood Physics!”    

A pet lover and environmental supporter, Sofia was active in Book Club, Model U.N., Students for Humanity and Memorial Mustang Outreach Bunch (MMOB). She joined Best Buddies, a group that promotes relationships between general students and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Sofia has an amazing personality, a large compassionate heart, and a zeal for learning. She is always responsible and hard-working, and has the ability to adapt well in every circumstance,” says Memorial Counselor Stephanie Jackson.

“She is a joy to be around, and peers and teachers alike gravitate to her kind and outgoing disposition. Sofia knows how to be a successful student, a dependable friend, and has been a great example for her peers!”

Sofia Isart is certain to make the world a happier place.


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