Skip to content

The Best and The Brightest of 2024



Age 16
BASIS Scottsdale

Sophia Lin has always had a passion for equity and education, but during the COVID-19 pandemic she took action to support students across Arizona.  As cofounder of the youth education service nonprofit iReach, Sophia has grown the organization to 450 members, providing programming opportunities like summer camps and more than 5,000 hours of tutoring for underserved students across our state. 


“My parents, when they first came to America, they really struggled with the funding aspect of education,” said Sophia. “Seeing them work so hard to get to where they are now really made me want to fight for other students who may not have access to opportunities.”


Sophia’s advocacy doesn’t stop there. She is working with the AZ Governor’s Youth Commission (GYC) to bridge education gaps, particularly in rural counties. She has hosted dance, art, and speech camps, and assisted with STEM, Civics and financial literacy camps. She works closely with the AZ Board of Regents, ASU, UofA and NAU’s financial aid offices to help students find the right postsecondary education options.


Sophia is also heavily involved with Speech and Debate, and showcased those skills when she gave a Tedx Talk in 2022 that focused on racial stereotypes. She is a peer advocate on campus, and is dedicated to finding data-driven solutions to social issues. She recently worked with a Harvard professor to study suicide prevention, and is currently researching machine-learning simulations and data analysis to improve high-school students’ engagement and prevent high-school dropouts. In collaboration with an ASU professor through the SCience and ENgineering Experience (SCENE) program, her goal is to influence education policy and build long-term solutions.


“I truly believe youth voices are some of the most influential voices we can have in our society,” she said.


Sophia plans to pursue higher education after high school and eventually work in public policy.

636 W Southern Ave | Tempe, AZ 85282
6339 E Speedway Blvd, Ste 109 | Tucson, AZ 85710