Orange County United Way is proud to nominate Sofi Majidi, 15 years old, for the Orange County National Philanthropic Day’s Outstanding Youth award. As president of the Canyon High School student group Students United, her commitment to the community and philanthropic leadership has been inspiring.
Orange County United Way first learned of Sofi when she reached out to our Volunteer Engagement Team at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year in the hopes of helping the community as we faced the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. She created the Canyon High School Students United group all on her own and gathered thirty students to sign-up during the first week of school. She also established a student board consisting of a vice president, secretary, marketing coordinator, and treasurer.
“I wanted to get more involved with my community and I thought making a club at my school was a great way to do that,” Sofi shared with us. “It was hard to socialize this year because our classes were mostly online, but Students United was a great way for students to get together while helping our community. I’ve made a lot of friends from this experience.”
When offered opportunities to meet immediate needs in the community, Sofi and the other members of Students United are always eager to step up to the plate. In her role as president, Sofi coordinates all the Canyon High School Students United meetings and delegates tasks to her team and members. To ensure the student group can continue to help our community, she corresponds with Orange County United Way’s Volunteer Engagement Coordinator regularly throughout the year so that members can be involved with any new volunteer opportunities United Way has.
Under Sofi’s leadership, Canyon High School Students United have:
- Participated in writing encouragement cards to families with chronically ill children.
- Participated in-person for the critical food distribution event to give out meals to senior citizens and families over multiple Sundays.
- Volunteered at the Lunar New Year community event in support of American-Asian seniors and other vulnerable community members in connection with our #StopAsianHate
- Hosted our Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at two of their meetings to learn about community needs and what they can do to help.
For each of the volunteer opportunities that they can participate in, Sofi rounds up about 8-15 student volunteers—a remarkable feat during a very challenging year! In fact, the Students United group have been the most consistent volunteers during the pandemic and contributed over 125 hours of volunteer service.
Sofi loves knowing that her student group has made a difference and hopes even more students will get involved this upcoming year. “You can always start somewhere—whether it’s finding organizations in your community that help people or fundraising on your own. I think it’s really important to get involved with your community and it’s so rewarding to see a smile on someone’s face when we volunteer.”
Sofi’s philanthropic efforts as a leader amongst her peers—and within our community—exemplify the mission of Orange County United Way to improve lives in OC. We are honored to work with her and awed by her dedication!
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