At first glance, it looks like any other coloring book, albeit with French and Creole wording. Sophia Aime’s creation is much more than something you could buy in a store. This senior at Coral Reef High School designed the book to inspire orphans in Haiti, children who often end up as child laborers.
"I created coloring books in their French and Haitian Creole language to you know, encourage these kids, boost their spirits," Sophia explained.
Sophia delivered dozens of her vocational coloring books, along with crayons, to an orphanage in Haiti last summer. Each page features a man or a woman engaged in some sort of occupation, from doctor to baker to engineer and many more.
"And I explained to them what these books mean and how they’re supposed to empower them and how they’re supposed to inspire them to become greater," Sophia said, explaining how she presented the books to the kids.
The coloring books are a marriage of Sophia’s passion for art and activism.
"She’s one of those kids who feels she has a mission, that she is here for a reason," said chemistry teacher Hemisha Barkow, one of Sophia’s mentors at school.
Her classmates notice the same quality in Sophia.
"She strives to do good for other people and she’s such an empowering woman," said fellow senior Mahek Lalani.
Sophia’s road has been challenging, to say the least. A few months ago, she lost her father. After his death, the family lost its home, sometimes the electricity bills went unpaid, yet throughout it all, Sophia continued her straight-A academic performance in the challenging International Baccalaureate curriculum.
"It just shows your strength, that if you’re able to overcome this, you’re able to overcome anything," Sophia said.
That perseverance and determination awes her friends at school.
"And she just continues to have this confidence and she just powered through it and that’s what truly inspires me because if I had to go through that I know I wouldn’t be able to make it," said classmate Sarah Alkhwlani.
Sophia won a full scholarship through the Questbridge program to Macalester College in Minneapolis. Eventually, she wants to become a civil rights attorney.
"You know, give a voice to those who are discriminated against, those who are mistreated, those who had injustice in their lives," Sophia said.
So her desire to help society is at the heart of her ambitions. What else would you expect from someone whose name means "love" in French?