Sofia Ford lives in Dover, New Hampshire, where she has been working in downtown restaurants for more than a decade. Recently graduated from the University of New Hampshire (UNH), as a Psychology major with a minor in Sociology and a passion for politics, Sofia is fascinated by people’s stories. As a good listener, tending bar 30 hours a week at a popular Dover restaurant, she found that people were more than willing to share them with her. As someone with a history of activism, this has positioned her well to become acquainted with local politics and their differential impacts on Dover patrons and business owners.
While Sofia was a student at UNH, she was engaged in a number of pursuits that fueled her passion for social justice – whether pertaining to issues in the realm of community, healthcare, reproductive rights, racial inequities, or education. For example, as the UNH Health and Wellness Ambassador, she collaborated on creating interactive programs supporting self-care services catered to an integrated health and wellness model. As the UNH Sexual Well-Being Educator, she played a more crucial role in developing intersectional sexual health programs for students and facilitating sex-positive peer-led sex education. Her academic achievements and experience with UNH Health and Wellness put her in the running for a grant with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which was reserved for Community College transfer students in the Humanities. This grant allowed her to become the Political Affairs Intern for Planned Parenthood, which furthered her passion for women’s health and reproductive justice and strengthened the extent to which she values people’s personal stories and recognized their importance as a communication strategy for developing connections.
Recently, given COVID-19 and significant health risks to her family, Sofia had to forego bartending, which, along with graduating, gave her the time to pursue her passions. Making a concerted effort to become more involved with local politics, she joined the New Hampshire Youth Movement (NHYM) and participated in their political training series. This led her to her current engagement in their fellowship program, during which time she has been given the opportunity to hone her skills as a grassroots community organizer and political advocate for progressive issues in the state, furthering her depth of understanding for the value for civic engagement and political organizing in her own community.