Class of ’24 Senior Spotlight: Sophia Manzur

Name, city of residence:

Sophia Manzur, Morgan Hill

Grade you started at Mount Madonna School:


What inspires you?

My sister, Alyssa. She is the definition of love – resilient, powerful, divine. She is always taking the initiative to be the best version of herself, shows empathy and compassion to others, is the person I can always count on to offer me honest advice, and is my favorite person to celebrate life with.

What is your favorite subject in school, and why? 

I believe it would be unfair to answer this question with performing arts because it is my life’s passion. The other class that I look forward to equally as much as performing arts is calculus. Mathematics is all about finding innovative solutions to puzzles that are applicable in the real world. With calculus, you can find the rate of change at which a disease will spread, understand the behavior of electric and magnetic fields, determine the optimal price for products and services, design life-saving medical equipment, and so much more. Another reason why I love calculus is it serves as a constant challenge, urging me to approach problems from a different perspective while leveraging the knowledge from past lessons to find the answer. I genuinely have so much fun in class because of my forever math squad, Emma and Logan. We have been a trio in the same math class since the eighth grade. They have always been able to understand the most difficult concepts in math without skipping a beat. They are the reason math is so hard for me; I have to keep up with those intelligent hooligans. Emma and Logan are amazing people to be in a class with, I always look forward to spending time with them.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be? 

I would make it so everyone has the opportunity to have a quality education.

If you could go anywhere, where would you go, and why would you choose that

I would go to my grandparents’ old house in San Jose. I chose this place because it is where I spent most of my childhood. My grandparents moved out of the house about seven years ago and moved into a house two minutes away from my own. I love them being closer to me now and can now visit them whenever I please, but I still miss that house. I frequently have dreams of being inside the house and even after more than seven years of not being inside, I can still recall every single detail of it. That house brings such a big comfort to me and reminds me of pure happiness.

Name one big challenge in your life right now:        

Letting go of situations, ideas, and people who no longer positively serve me is a big challenge. I hold grudges and have a hard time knowing when to let go and I never forget.

What is your dream job and why?

Producing a theatrical or film production that offers the world the opportunity to exercise and broaden their empathy while watching it would be my dream job. I would also love to find ways to offer art education for children across the nation, regardless of economic status or location. I envision creating an accessible space for children to express themselves and make real human connections with others who value authenticity.

What are your three favorite things?

My sister, my guitar Austin and concerts

Favorite book: 

“Home Body” by Rupi Kaur. This book is the reason I am comfortable with my body and soul. It is so important to understand that your body is not you – it is merely an instrument played by your soul. “Home Body” helped me understand that your body is what helps tell the story of your life. As you get older your smile lines start to show, your freckles become more visible, and your hands start to wrinkle. I hope as I get older my body can show the younger generations a glimpse of the beautiful life I have lived.

What do you want to do after high school? 

I am going to pursue my dream of becoming a theatre director. I was admitted into the University of California, Los Angeles’ School of Television, Film, and Theater for the theater program with an integrated studies emphasis. With this major, I will be able to learn and discover all of the ins and outs of the theater world. I plan to apply my newfound knowledge to create and share art with others in various forms.

Something that you are proud of – and why:

I am proud of the tremendous work I put into my high school journey. Juggling school with work, extracurriculars like ballet, student government, friendships and family has been difficult. I am proud that I never gave up because it helped instill in me a sense of determination and will to keep pushing when it seems like the goal line is so far away.

Something that makes you smile:

Every Thursday, I assist with the kindergarten Creative Self-Expression class. From a young age, we are told to control our impulses, to hold still and ponder before we act on them. Now, while I do think some impulses need to be thought through before acting on them, I also feel we shouldn’t hold back on some impulses because of the fear of judgment from others. As we grow older, we are taught to quiet our desires for “more appropriate times and places.” But by doing that we are not allowed to embody our most vulnerable and authentic state of being, and therefore forget what that feels like. Kindergarteners haven’t yet had years of experience in controlling such impulses. It brings me joy to see these kids express their inner thoughts and feelings with such excitement without thinking about them before.

A favorite Mount Madonna School (MMS) memory:

My favorite memory at MMS is my seventh grade Model United Nations trip. There is an inside joke from that trip that I could never explain to others so I will just leave it at that.

Top three most played songs on your favorite playlist: 

“Silver Springs” by Fleetwood Mac, “Just A Girl” by No Doubt and “Graceland Too” by Phoebe Bridgers, as well every single Mitski song!