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Young Achiever: student excited by politics

Top student: Sophia Collis

Having graduated from one of America’s top high schools, Sophia Collis hopes to eventually return to her native Bermuda and contribute to the political discourse.

The Phillips Exeter Academy alumnus, 18, is due to enter McGill University in Canada this month to study for a Bachelor of Arts and is looking to take classes covering international relations, modern political thought and political science.

She has always been a hard worker when it comes to academics and that paid off when she was named the recipient of the McGill Bermuda Scholarship Trust established following a donation by Dudley and Deborah Butterfield.

The former Bermuda High School student said: “I was always passionate about my academics and I knew that I could push myself a little further.

“Although BHS gave me a good learning foundation I decided to attend school overseas — Phillips Exeter Academy for my final three years of high school. It is known as a pressure cooker — a very hard and challenging boarding school. It is one of the top schools in America and is pretty prestigious. I decided to take the risk and see how I would do over there.

“It taught me to have a good work ethic. The Exeter education is based off the Harkness Table and I really think the system benefited me.”

Ms Collis intends to get her head deeply into politics and is taking a class that talks about critical examinations of concepts in contemporary political discourse. She is also taking a course in international relations which speaks on the modern Islamic movement.

“The class is called Contemporary Middle East. I think it should be a mandatory course because of how relevant it is in today’s society,” Ms Collis said.

“I am really interested in that part of the world. In terms of international relations I hope to get involved with subjects pertaining to the crises happening today. I want to be a part of solving and involving myself in it.”

But it’s not just the Middle East she is concerned with. She intends to bring her skills to Bermuda and help the younger generation get involved in the way their country is run.

“There seems to be a lack of awareness with what is going on in the government. I just turned 18. I can vote now. New voters need to really open our ears and listen to what is going on and make a better Bermuda. I definitely see myself coming back and contributing to the Bermudian community.”