Saying that community service is important to Pace Academy senior Sophie Zelony
is something of an understatement—it’s more of a calling. In recognition of her dedication to making the world a better place, Atlanta INtown
newspaper has named Zelony to its 2017 “20 Under 20” list
, which honors young people who have “gone above and beyond to give back to the community.”
Zelony became involved in volunteer work before arriving at Pace in the ninth grade. Since middle school, she has participated in Creating Connected Communities
(CCC), a leadership-training program for Jewish teens. The organization serves more than 20 homeless shelters throughout Atlanta and hosts Amy’s Holiday’s Party, an annual fundraiser for 800+ underprivileged children and their families. Zelony has served CCC as public relations manager, event chair and now, vice president.
Zelony has also been involved in the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
since middle school, serving for multiple years as Memory Board chair. In partnership with the organization, Zelony has raised more than $3,000 and has lobbied local senators for support.
Upon arriving at Pace, Zelony became involved with La Amistad
, “the premier organization serving Latinos in Atlanta.” For three years, Zelony has acted as Pace’s liaison with La Amistad, organizing volunteers, clothing drives and fundraisers, and tutoring underserved students in core subjects. She worked as a summer camp counselor and interned with La Amistad this past summer.
Zelony is also involved in Baking for Breast Cancer, a Pace club that sponsors bake sales to raise funds for breast cancer research. She is in her third year as a service leader for the club. In addition, Zelony was selected as one of five executive service leaders in Pace’s student-led service-learning program. She oversees eight community service projects with Pace’s partnership organizations, coordinated a retreat for the school’s 30+ service leaders and keeps the Pace study body updated regarding service opportunities.
Beyond service, Zelony is a two-year captain of the varsity tennis team (2016 state runner-up) and a member of the varsity math team. She is an avid photographer and participated in a two-week photography workshop in India through Pace’s Isdell Center for Global Leadership
; her work has been featured in several exhibitions and received Silver Key and Honorable Mention awards in the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition.