Sophie Young uses her independent personality to thrive in life


With the help of an independent personality and valuable life skills taught by her parents, junior Sophie Young takes on the tricky task of balancing high school, cheer, and a job.

Sophie started cheering in fourth grade. When she first joined, she was assigned as a “flyer,” or the stuntman of the cheer team. The position stuck, and she keeps it even in high school. With her intensive background and knowledge of the cheer, this year Sophie worked with fellow teammates to coach third and fourth grade girls.

“It’s weird to think about how I was once in that position,” Sophie said, “when I looked up to my mentors who coached me, and [now], I am their mentor. It was a weird swapping thing where they looked up to me, and it’s kind of cool to have little kids look up to you.”

Sophie understands that there is a common misconception about cheer and the legitimacy of the workouts. However, she would be the first to deny how incorrect those statements are.

Sophie is challenged daily by workouts at practice. Despite this, Sophie dedicates cheer as the origin of learning how to trust others. She must rely on her teammates to catch her every time she is thrown into the air, and because of this, an extraordinary amount of trust is needed. The team provides a place where she can come and put it all on the table, good and bad, and the girls will be right alongside her, helping her through it.

“You have trust, and you make really good, trusting friends,” Sophie said. “When you go to practice, it’s almost like feeling at home. It feels like your safety net; it makes you feel comfortable and that you can be whatever you want. Whatever you’re dealing with that day, you can just come and everyone will comfort you no matter what. If you’re going through something, they will be there for you, which is a nice. It’s a comforting family kind of feeling.”

Sophie says that cheer is the source of where she found friends coming into high school, a time when she knew no one. Cheer brought her to new people and created bonds that will last a lifetime.

“Every sport introduces you to new people,” Sophie said. “It’s nice because I think sports help us a lot with friendships. Having that as a freshman and having someone who says hi to you in the hallways– it was the best thing to look forward to. Cheer teaches you to have lifelong friends. I’m still friends with them even if I don’t talk to them [every day]. It’s nice to have someone.”

Despite already having a full plate with cheer, Sophie also takes on the challenge of balancing a job at Nocos where she busses, barbacks, and hosts. The job has taught her not only to be well rounded at multiple tasks but also as a person.

“[Working] is fun, but you have to deal with a lot of [difficult] people,” Sophie said. “It actually taught me to be nicer. When you’re dealing with older people, it teaches you how you get portrayed when you go into a restaurant and go somewhere to eat. You actually think about what you’re saying more because when I’m hosting and people come in, they’re [not always nice].”

When you go to practice, it’s almost like feeling at home. It feels like your safety net; it makes you feel comfortable and that you can be whatever you want.

— Sophie Young

It is not uncommon for Sophie to deal with unpleasant attitudes; however, she does not let this get in her way with making the best out of her job. She can devote how much working at Nocos has taught her to appreciate the life she lives.

“It teaches you to appreciate life itself,” Sophie said.” [To] appreciate the beauty of life and having communication and not always being on your phone. Actually looking up and having a conversation with someone rather than [being] on your phone. It makes you appreciate all of the privileges, how blessed we are to live in Cascade, and [blessed to] have this amazing community.”

Cheer has given Sophie lifelong friends, and her job has given her lifelong lessons. However, all that she’s accomplished would not be possible without her family. Sophie’s family taught her how to deal with all that is thrown at her and to handle it with ease.

“Both of my parents have raised me really well,” Sophie said. “I think they [did it] because I started doing stuff a lot earlier than most people. They taught me very [good] manners and what they taught me I will carry on through my life. Even if I was put on my own at fifteen or sixteen, I would know how to go through life because they did teach me good life lessons.”

Sophie’s parents have always been there for her, but she also has come to realize how much of an independent person she is. With maintaining school, a job, and cheer, she feels like she owes some of her success to the ability to depend on herself.

“I depend on other people but not as much,” Sophie said.”It helps me balance my schoolwork and cheer because I know what works for me, rather than having other people tell me what to do. It just makes life a little bit easier, not depending on everyone else.”