Student Finds Passion Through Activism

Sophia+Bojorquez+%2811%29+is+the+Athletics+subgroup+lead+of+student-led+task+force%2C+San+Juan+Hills+Against+Racism.+The+group+is+dedicating+to+promoting+inclusivity+and+combating+discrimination+of+all+forms.+

Courtesy of Sophia Bojorquez

Sophia Bojorquez (11) is the Athletics subgroup lead of student-led task force, San Juan Hills Against Racism. The group is dedicating to promoting inclusivity and combating discrimination of all forms.

Gabby Laurente, Staff Writer

San Juan Hills Against Racism (SJHAR) is a task force dedicated to combating racism and promoting inclusivity in the school environment. Students from all grades, including alumni, meet regularly with administration to promote a more racially inclusive school. The task force was brought together under a bigger movement, Capistrano Unified School District Against Racism. 

SJHAR leads, Sandhya Ganesan and Sarina Iyer, split the task force into twelve different subgroups, each with a different focus on school campus: anti-bias, arts and extracurriculars, LGBTQ+, voter mobilization, mental health, outreach, curriculum, middle school outreach, social media, discipline, and athletics. 

As a whole we’ve been helping make progress at our school about raising awareness on these topics and issues. We’ve also been able to get help from teachers too who want to hear what we have to say about these topics.”

— Bojorquez

SJHAR member Sophia Bojorquez is the team lead for athletics. She was introduced to the task force once it first formed back in September 2020. She found the task force through an Instagram post and applied shortly after. 

“The biggest thing that made me join the task force was that I had to deal with insensitive words, statements, and stereotypes related to my ethnicity at our school, and after feeling like I wasn’t being heard I thought I could help be part of the solution by joining this group of people who understood me and were full of positivity,” said Bojorquez. 

Bojorquez knew action was necessary after having dealt with insensitivity on campus herself. 

Being a part of the task force has taught Bojorquez to have patience. “I’ve learned that the changes that we are trying to make at our school and in our communities don’t just happen overnight, it’s a long process and takes baby steps,” said Bojorquez. 

Specifically pertaining to her sub-group, Bojorquez is in charge of promoting inclusivity and combating intolerance within the school’s sports programs. “The best part about it is that I get to meet new people from other sports, and we all get to collaborate on ideas that will benefit all of the sports as a whole at SJHHS,” said Bojorquez. 

In the future, Bojorquez’s number one goal is to change her school for the better. “The main thing I hope to accomplish is to help make an impact in whatever way I can to create a healthy, safe, and positive environment at our school for everyone and anyone.” 

Since September 2020, the task force has given anti-bias training to ASB, Link Crew, and many teachers. The LGBTQ+ subgroup is building a social media presence, and has helped to release a pronoun form to teachers in order to be more respectful toward their LGBTQ+ students.

“As a whole we’ve been helping make progress at our school about raising awareness on these topics and issues. We’ve also been able to get help from teachers too who want to hear what we have to say about these topics,” said Bojorquez. 

The SJHAR task force as a whole has worked to better the school environment for everyone, staff and students alike.