Sofia Andrade

I am an 18-year-old young activist from a city in the northeast of Brazil called Recife. My childhood and mental hardships made me extremely passionate about advocating for the first and second UN SDGs (no poverty and zero hunger) in my community and helping other young people in my city to become young leaders to fight against social inequality. Currently, I am the president of a Brazilian NGO (Ainda Há Esperança) and, together, we distribute meal packages and clothing for the homeless in our community and teach other kids about the power of young leadership.

Today, the biggest challenge we, the youth from developed countries, face is the lack of attention and importance given to our voices by the worldwide elite. Unfortunately, being looked down and not heard by the powerful in our communities is part of our daily lives, but we ought to keep fighting, speaking up and not giving up in order to see the good change we so much fight for.

I spent years of my life struggling with major depression and agoraphobia, but, with Global Scholars, I finally learned what it means to truly love who you are. Today, I am not ashamed of my origins, income or accent as I was before. By being in Washington DC learning about IR and visiting different speakers around the city, I realized the importance I have for my Brazilian community and the many things I still have to fight for. It is truly an amazing experience for any young person who, despite all the problems we are facing, still has hope and eagerness to change something where they live and to speak up about it.