In 2020, 16-year-old Sophia Del Rosario took advantage of the time she had during quarantine to dive into various creative projects. She remembers feeling passionate about writing and how it allowed her to connect with her most authentic self. Still, like many people at the time, she was experiencing boredom and disconnection. “I wanted other teens like me, who were likely suffering from boredom, to have a creative outlet for writing, art, poetry, and more,” she said.
"If you have that drive, that passion, that fire inside of you, its emergence is inevitable.”
From there, she decided to use her experience and her passion for writing, activism, and community to develop a media platform for Gen Z to share personal stories and experiences. “I've always had a fear of judgment from others, and sometimes I still struggle from that today,” she said about how the experience helped her find her voice. “I realized that if you have that drive, that passion, that fire inside of you, its emergence is inevitable,” she said.
Sophia is the Founder and Director of Zenerations, a youth-led organization that empowers youth creatives, activists, and change-makers. She leads a team of over 100 talented committee members and content contributors to share current events, art, videos, and other media. “I believe that the motivation for my work stems from the team of dedicated, hardworking youth that surrounds me every day,” she said. “Having the privilege of seeing each member’s talents shine through the work they contribute, and learning more about their uniqueness and personality with every creative contribution is a gift in and of itself. I've met some of my closest friends through Zenerations, and with every passing day, our bond strengthens, and we help each other improve, learn, and grow.”
Sophia is also a member of the Junior State of America, served as Vice President and Secretary for Student Government, and is a Vine Member at JUV Consulting. As an exceptional Gen Z’er using her voice for good, she was honored for her Media and Journalism work through the ConversationaLIST. “I want my voice to encourage other youth to chase their dreams and shoot for the stars, no matter how daunting it may appear at first,” she said.
“I want my voice to encourage other youth to chase their dreams and shoot for the stars, no matter how daunting it may appear at first.”
If someone is struggling with finding their voice, Sophia suggests leaning into self-discovery. “Everyone is bound to find that outlet to speak their purpose,” she said. “If it seems lost in the moment, if you're experiencing blockage due to fear or insecurity, break down that barrier and find that spark. The moment you do, you'll feel so much more connected with your true, authentic self.”
While Sophia acknowledges that she’s still figuring things out, she hopes to continue working in media, journalism, web design, and social activism. “I see myself possibly running Zenerations as a media company as well as staying in this area and studying in New York City for university,” she said. “I do know that everyone moves at their own pace, and I have to trust the timing of my life, so wherever I am in five years, I hope I still am connected to my inner self and continue to use my voice for good.”
Sophia recalls Zeneration’s partnership with The Conversationalist on the Gen Z Survival Guide Panel and the Election Watch Party. “I had never felt so much inspiration and enthusiasm working with another company that had a vision that resonated so closely with ours,” she said. “Seeing a vast, engaged community of Gen Z’ers that strive to break echo chambers and create a more unified world through The Conversationalist collaboration with our platform gave me hope for our future.”
For Sophia, a unified world means everyone, especially BIPOC, receives equal treatment and is represented everywhere they go. “As Generation Z, we must build a unified world by not only learning and educating ourselves in preparation for being the future leaders, but also garner[ing] perspectives, knowledge, advice, and help from the previous generations to bridge the generational gap.”
To break open her echo chamber, Sophia takes to the internet to connect with people from all across the world with varying perspectives, viewpoints, and opinions. “I will admit that I have been stuck in an echo chamber for a while,” she said. “[I am] trying to push out of it by checking out what others have to say, especially on Twitter, through articles and [by] trying to start a civil dialogue, and of course, consuming the incredible content from The Conversationalist,” she said.
“Many conversations can be difficult, but necessary, so persevering through the whole thing through a combination of speaking and listening is one of the best ways to make sure the talk goes as smoothly and effectively as possible."
When it comes to difficult conversations, Sophia tries to understand things from another perspective to avoid arguments. “Many conversations can be difficult, but necessary, so persevering through the whole thing through a combination of speaking and listening is one of the best ways to make sure the talk goes as smoothly and effectively as possible,” she said.