“My activism has taught me critical lessons that help me understand the importance of compassion and giving back, but it also has taught me how to work hard and fight for what I believe in,” says Sophia Frances Bruton a senior at Louise S. McGehee School.
Bruton volunteers with 504-Ever, a group of McGehee students that pull personal donations of $15 to give a nonprofit in New Orleans a donation of $1,000. 504-Ever has the mission to focus on helping children in New Orleans.
“Seeing firsthand the kids 504-Ever was going to support reminded me exactly why I wanted to found this organization in the first place,” says Bruton. The organization decided to donate their funds to Roots of Music, a nonprofit that empowers the youth of New Orleans through music education, academic support and mentorship while promoting the unique musical and cultural heritage of New Orleans.
Bruton even organized a guest-speaker for McGehee to represent Roots of Music after 504-Ever made its first official donation to the nonprofit. The student body was able to hear first-hand the impact of their activism.
“The whole purpose of a community is to provide support,” says Bruton. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to understand that in order to make my New Orleans community sustainable and long-lasting, it’s up to members of my generation to take responsibility and provide that support for others who need it.”
Two mentors who’ve assisted Bruton with the founding and success of 504-Ever are her mother, Wendy Bruton, and advocate Elenore Flashaw. Both of these women taught Bruton to understand the importance of philanthropy and supporting organizations throughout her community.
Bruton is graduating in May and is hoping to attend Duke University or Claremont McKenna College. When she isn’t involved in schoolwork or volunteering, she spends time with friends. She isn’t sure what she wants to do after college, but hopes to combine her passion for activism, social service and love of political science.