“My outlook on life was completely altered when I started noticing that Christ was present in every single human,” says Sophie Leigh Stubbs, a rising senior at Archbishop Chapelle High School. “As a Catholic, it’s crucial to be involved in my community in order to serve others and portray Christ’s love.”
Over the past year Stubbs and her classmates had to find unique ways to volunteer with the community. Last school year, Stubbs and her classmates made toiletry bags for the homeless. The bags consisted of basic necessities like toothbrushes and facemasks, but the students added notes of encouragement and rosaries.
“I enjoyed this experience; it taught me the importance of doing small things for others. It has also allowed me to gain a better understanding of the true meaning of activism,” says Stubbs.
Stubbs volunteers at Joshua Butler Elementary where many of the students are economically disadvantaged. She helps students with their academics but also serves as a mentor to the students.
“Volunteering at Joshua Butler Elementary over the years has undoubtedly been my most rewarding experience because I’ve had the opportunity to see the children grow and succeed. I have made deep connections with many of the students,” says Stubbs.
While tutoring a student in an English lesson, Stubbs realized that the student wasn’t grasping the material. Knowing that the student was religious, she challenged that student to pray to God for help.
“I could see an immediate change in her demeanor as she began to pray in these types of situations. Not only did I see an improvement in her writing, but I also saw a light in her that had never shown before. She became happier, less anxious, and more confident,” says Stubbs.
Julie Lefort, a teacher at Chapelle, inspired Stubbs to become a student activist. Lefort teaches religion class and Catholic Social doctrine but makes sure to explain to the students how to take an extra step and apply these teachings to everyday life.
Stubbs plans to attend Louisiana State University for college and will major in pre-medicine to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. When she becomes a doctor, she plans to continue her activism by promoting ethical health care to ensure her patients are treated with the utmost respect that they deserve.