Sonya is a fourth-year student in the Honours Trilingual iBSc in Biology at Glendon, but also a disabled and mature student. She is a second-generation Italian-Canadian, a musician, an athlete, a hopeful activist, and an incredibly curious individual, who keeps herself occupied with a wide variety of interests. After graduating from her specialist arts high school in 2017, she took a three-year break to determine what field she would pursue, using that opportunity to work and save money. Her return to education came at a rather unique time, in the fall of 2020, where pandemic restrictions made living off-campus and pursuing a degree online a rather isolating experience. And also a time during which she was diagnosed late and introduced to the neurodivergent community, while struggling with mental health issues.
While she was incredibly anxious to start studying, she found tools and strategies to better succeed in her academic career and having taken the time to be able to address and understand these aspects of herself before undertaking something so demanding as full-time studies, she found her academic performance to be better than it had been in years, fueling her drive to keep learning.
Since starting at Glendon, she has taken every opportunity presented to broaden her horizons, including playing for a competitive inter-collegiate sports club, taking courses with a wide variety of subject matter, internships, hands-on field courses, going on exchange to Nice, France, and studying a course abroad in Taxco, Mexico.
Sonya believes that at the root of this desire to learn more and do more is to better understand our world and the people in it, resulting in tangible changes both on a micro- and macro- scale. She volunteers with the paramedics in her region as part of a pilot project for CPR and AED response prior to paramedic arrival, as she is committed to community care and contributing to positive change around her.
These varied experiences are fundamental to who Sonya is as an individual and, regardless of where she ends up in her academic and professional life, she brings a desire to relate and develop change through others’ growth as well as her own, striving for success in all she does.
While she is not yet certain of what graduate studies she will be pursuing upon graduation, she is certain that her love for science, nature, people and intersectionality will be at the forefront of what she pursues. Whether through the lens of ecology and climate justice by means of decolonization, accessible healthcare for BIPOC, disabled and other marginalized communities, or education through accessible language, she is committed to striving for better in all aspects of her life, and the lives of others.