Sophia Hobby is a rising Sophomore at The Park School of Baltimore. She’s a musician with a love for learning and she loves getting involved in her community. Last year she participated in the Social Innovation Fellowship as her first 4Front experience. Learn a little more about Sophia.
How did you first get involved with 4Front?
I first and primarily had involvement with 4Front through joining the Social Innovation Fellowship this past year. I heard about 4Front through my mother, who worked at the federation for many years. Through the Social Innovation Fellowship (or SIF for short), I worked with my peers, some of whom I already knew, to design a startup. My group designed a startup to increase the accessibility of musical instruments for school-aged children. We were working toward the final goal of SIF, which is having a thoroughly planned startup to present to a group of panelists, along with our parents.
What has been your most rewarding experience with 4Front?
My most rewarding experience with 4Front was an unexpected opportunity outside of my program. In preparation for the updated 4Front website, Diana arranged a zoom call between the two of us, along with some other teen members of the 4front community. In this zoom, Diana asked for our feedback on the new website design and considered our input on what was most appealing visually. To me, this call demonstrated how deeply 4Front considers the perspectives and opinions of my generation. It was meaningful to learn that a large percentage of the target demographic for 4Front’s website is teenagers such as myself. This call displayed how our wants and needs as a generation are being heard and respected by 4front, and how a voice such as mine can make a difference.
How do you think your experience with 4Front will impact you in the future?
4Front has greatly impacted my experience as an evolving leader. The SIF program enhanced my skills in group collaboration through exercises to better understand my values as an individual, and as a collective. As a group, we learned to divide our tasks based on our skills and interests. I learned about compromise in a working environment, and how our different perspectives lead to increased possibilities. With my new skills in collaboration, I have grown as an individual and a member of my community. I believe these experiences through 4Front have opened many new perspectives on leadership and community that continue to impact me for the rest of my life.
Other than 4Front programs, how do you spend your free time or what else are you involved in?
Outside of 4Front, I spend much of my time playing my instruments and singing. I am a member of several music groups throughout school, and I take music lessons on the side. I spend a lot of time reading about global events and solving puzzles. In terms of other leadership programs, I have been involved in programs such as Achshav and Netivon at Beth El, and volunteered at JDAD at Capital Hill, rallies, soup kitchens, and more, in addition to my 4Front experiences.
If you could share one word to describe your 4Front experience what would it be?
The word I would use to describe my 4Front experience would be Growth. Through our various activities, projects, and learning experiences, the word Growth best reflects my experience. Through the duration of SIF, we developed new skills as individuals, and as a community. We grew into ourselves, and into the roles that we needed to fill, and this was a great learning opportunity.
Why is getting involved in Jewish teen programming important to you?
I have been involved in Jewish programming my entire life, and it seems only fitting for me to continue these experiences as a teenager. I have always greatly cherished the Jewish community for our values, as well as our determination to make an impact. Jewish teen leadership is a great way for me to fulfill my desire of helping others, and build my leadership skills, while connected to the community I value so deeply.
If you could choose one song that symbolizes and defines your time with 4Front, what would it be and why?
The song I would choose to symbolize my time at 4Front would be Imagine by John Lennon. I feel as though 4Front’s values are very in sync with the hopeful nature of the song. Additionally, the dream of creating a new world built on peace and understanding really resignations with my experience. Clearly, the song contrasts with 4front when it mentions a lack of religion, but it works for all intents and purposes.
Why should someone get involved with 4Front?
I think 4Front is a great program to get involved with for anyone with a desire to grow as a member of our community, and experience leadership through Jewish values. I truly learned a lot through this program, and it’s a very impactful way to be involved.