Sophie Rawsthorne is a Year 12 student at St Leo’s Catholic College who is one of 30 incredible Art of Smart Future Leaders from across NSW for 2018.

Our Future Leaders Program is NSW’s premier Career & Leadership program that invests in and supports young leaders in Years 10-12 at high school. The program provides mentoring, rigorous peer learning, skills development, work experience and national connections so young people can effectively answer the big question of “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school?” and develop the key skills they need to make an impact in their communities.

We recently spoke with Sophie about her goals for the future, how she’s pursuing these goals during Year 12 and much more!

When you finish school, what do you want to do?

I want to study a Bachelor of Education (Birth to 12 years old) at the University of Newcastle Central Coast Campus. I would particularly like to explore how to improve children’s mental wellbeing in their everyday lives.

What is your long-term ‘dream big’ goal?

My long term goal is to teach and spend time with disadvantaged children and allow them to flourish and grow.

What has inspired you to pursue this goal?

I have wanted to do this since I have struggled with personal issues and I want to make a contribution to the community to prevent it from happening to others.

What subjects are you currently taking for your HSC?

Community and Family Studies, Advanced English and General Maths.

My favourite subject is CAFS because it taps into my fascination with learning about children.

What is the biggest challenge you’re experiencing at school at the moment?

After missing a term, motivation and concentration has become an issue for me. I take small steps at a time to counter this.

What is the #1 study tip you’d recommend to other students to implement?

Definitely write out your notes – don’t just type them. Then you’re better able to commit them to memory.

What extracurricular activities are you currently involved in?

I work at McDonalds in Waitara, and am looking to pick up more extra curricular activities over the coming weeks and months.

What is the extracurricular activity or project you’ve engaged with that you are the most proud of?

I am proud that I have continued working despite the setbacks I have faced, and I am hoping to pick up more extracurricular activities as I am feeling inspired.

Where do you work and what has your biggest learning from working been?

I have previously worked at the Kidstuff toy store and I now work at McDonald’s.

My biggest learning from working has been to keep pushing through when it gets tough because it is helping you work towards your goals.

What is your favourite hobby?

I love drawing mandalas, journaling, reading and imagining a positive future. I also just finished the Vampire Diaries!

What is a quote that inspires you?

Sometimes it’s the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.

What does it mean to you to be a future leader?

I am looking forward to growing as a person, not just academically but emotionally, mentally and in other areas of life. I want to inspire those who have been in a similar situation to me, and have a positive impact on those around me by giving back to the community.

About Art of Smart and the Future Leaders Program

Art of Smart is a multi-award winning provider of world-class HSC tutoring and inspirational mentoring. Recognising that excelling at school takes more than a focus on the syllabus, over the last 8 years, we have built a reputation for our holistic approach to helping students develop both strong academic foundations and critical study, exam and life skills.

Based on 8+ years of research we’ve conducted with Australia’s top students, we’ve helped over 4,000 students on average achieve mark improvements of 19.41% and help students successfully transition from school to rewarding and challenging studies & careers.