#25 Student Success Story: Steps for Teens Creating Their Own Extracurricular Transcript



Sophia Chabris  00:00

I think the soft skill that grew the most for me was definitely communication. I’ve only done it a little bit with teachers, like if I was out sick one day like asking them what I missed, or if you could email me all the PDF forms, but I had never gone out and emailed back and forth with the principal or with the teacher, or even with parents like, oh, there was texting the parents asking if they’d been contacted by their volunteer, or if it was having to actually ask them if they had any ideas on how to make the program better. I had to learn communication, and I learned it in multiple different forms, and I really needed to grow on that section.


Lisa Marker Robbins  00:41

Has your team struggled to find the right extracurricular or do they have a dream of something they’d like to do but are unsure how to get started? This week’s episode is a student success story that started with a 10th grader stream and landed her on the Today Show. After her dream became a reality in her home state and beyond. I went into my florist vault, and pulled out this previously recorded interview with Sophia Shabri of Indian Hill High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. She’s now headed to Boston University in the fall of 2022. And her story will leave you in your teen inspired on a DIY approach to extracurriculars that are not only a high level, but will result in your team being further informed on activities and careers aligned with who they are and where they’re headed. I’m Lisa marker Robbins and I want to welcome you to College and Career Clarity, a flourish coaching production. Let’s dive right in to a great conversation. Well, hello, Sophie Shabri. I am so excited to have you today. Welcome.


Sophia Chabris  01:54

Hi, thank you for having me. My pleasure, I


Lisa Marker Robbins  01:56

think you’ve got a great story to share with our florist coaching family. So a little bit of background on you, Sophie, you are a rising senior, you’ll be graduating high school in 2022. I think people are going to listen to the advice that you give because it’s pretty timely and timeless. And so they’ll be listening to it be on 2022. And you have at that point graduated from high school and you are headed into college at that point. So heading into your senior year it has we’ve been working together one on one and we have a lot of fun. And you amaze me. That’s why I want you to share your stories. So everybody I have Sophie with me today to share her story about a really high level extracurricular that not only did she do this extra curricular, but she created it. And I think sometimes in Sofia, I’m sure you felt like this as you’ve gone through high school students will feel like where do I get involved what I do or there aren’t opportunities. And I think what’s so cool about your story is you created your own opportunity, didn’t you? Yes, I did. And so tell us your opportunity that you created from the ground up about a year and a half ago now was is called corona care collars. And why don’t you just tell everybody what Corona care collars is.


Sophia Chabris  03:17

So Corona care collars was a program for our online students who didn’t go back this fall in person. It was to reduce the social isolation they were feeling since they had a parent or a family member who had a medical problem or situation going on where they weren’t allowed to go back to school.


Lisa Marker Robbins  03:35

So you’re so it’s, let’s go back in time. It’s March 2020. Right. And you’re like, there are kids who not only for this school year. So everybody spring of 2020 ended their school year at home, then moving forward, because we’re in Cincinnati, Ohio, both of us. You knew that while your school might be back in person, there would be kids that didn’t get to go at all. Can you tell us just a little bit more about chronic care callers? Like who’s delivering a service and who’s benefiting from the service? What does that look


Sophia Chabris  04:14

like? Yeah, so the high school students at my school were able to participate incoming sophomores, incoming juniors and incoming seniors. We did not include the freshmen this year due to the fact that they had not been at the high school quite yet. And that it was a little different than it had in the past. And we wanted them to be part of the program to the people who are part of the program benefiting from these high school students calling them were Kindergarteners through freshman’s just to give them a buddy that they can talk to, as well as just some friendly face that they know that they can talk to every week on it, whichever day they meet.


Lisa Marker Robbins  04:48

So kindergarten little ones who never actually even got to start school yet, right? All the way up through ninth graders. Were buddied up with a sophomore junior or senior yes Okay, so it’s March, let’s go back again. It’s March 2020. What happens? Like, how did this idea come to your mind?


Sophia Chabris  05:10

In March of 2020, I was in a very bad spot. Personally, I was missing my friends. I’m an extrovert. So I got all of my like happiness and hanging out, like all from my friends, and peers, and teachers and all of that. So not being able to have that in person. And not having those connections really took a toll on my mental health. And I realized I’m not the only extrovert at Indian Hill, and that people are feeling the exact same way as me, but that I was going to be lucky enough to go back in the fall. So I created this program for the students who are like me that didn’t get to go back.


Lisa Marker Robbins  05:47

Okay, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing with us because I, a lot of kids, a lot of adults have felt that isolation. And certainly, it took a toll. So you have this idea, like, I’m not alone. So I’m so glad you realized you weren’t alone, and that there was relief for you is going to come sooner than it would for others. And you decide like, we’re going to do something about this. You have an idea. And I think a lot of students have ideas. But then they don’t know what to do. students or parents who want to share this with their team, can you walk them through as a high school student? What your steps were to get chronic care collars off the ground? What’s important to be able to do, what do you do from idea in March of 2022? Well, what was the exact date that it probably launched, you started serving? I don’t know that,


Sophia Chabris  06:39

maybe August 1, because we had to get it ready before school started.


Lisa Marker Robbins  06:42

Okay. So from March, middle of March to August 1, what are the steps that you as a high school student took so that you would be ready for the coming school year.


Sophia Chabris  06:54

So the first thing I had to do right off the bat was email my principal, I knew that this was going to be kind of difficult for time for him just because he had to figure out what we were doing when we got back to school had to figure out the schedule, all of that how online classes were going to work. So I emailed him saying I had this idea how I thought it was going to help benefit students who weren’t going to be in school with us. And when once he responded, I got to working on all of my templates and outlines and all the things I think he would need to have before saying yes to the program,


Lisa Marker Robbins  07:29

did you create your templates and outlines and things like that, before you even contacted him? Or did you contact him, he had a little bit of interest. And then you went to work,


Sophia Chabris  07:39

I created three things before contacting him, the signup sheets, and kind of like the whole basis of it, how the volunteers were going to communicate with the parents, the student, and even questions for the student to ask the younger, brave. And then I created two other things after I contacted him, which were the texting format, and the mission statements. So that was easier to share with him when we were to meet next.


Lisa Marker Robbins  08:06

Okay, I love the specificity that you’re giving here. Like, because when you say, Oh, I created the PDFs, and all the files, and then a student who’s having trouble thinking about how in the world would I do this? You being super specific is so incredibly helpful. So really, you are making it easy for him to say yes, yeah,


Sophia Chabris  08:29

that was the whole point. I knew it was going to be a hard time for him just solely based on the fact that Khurana was happening. So this was me trying to make it as easy as possible for a program to happen. And to make it easier on him so that he didn’t feel like he was constantly having to reach out or ask me about updates. It was all there ready for him.


Lisa Marker Robbins  08:50

I love that my history was 30 years ago, I was a high school teacher. So I taught for eight years. And I can say anytime, pre COVID Post COVID being a high school teacher being a high school principal, it’s crazy busy. So I would say anytime a student is going to try to initiate something at the high school level, replicating what you did as a very, very detailed plan and almost sounds like a business plan that you put together so fi which is fantastic. And having all the files ready in a shareable format so that it’s easy to understand and it creates little to no work on the ass because you had to get approval from your principal. Did you have to also get like a sponsor teacher or anything like that? Because I know sometimes that happens.


Sophia Chabris  09:42

I did not my principal actually was my sponsor teacher as well. But I had to also send it out to our we call it our online liaison but basically the online principal for this school year. I also had to get her and summer her team to sign off and say that they would be willing to share To the information with the parents of students who were going online, so I kind of I just sent her the exact same thing. I sent my principal, my toolkit with all the questionnaires and questions and all of that to them, so that they had all of these set out documents that were done. And I also attached to my principal and his email to me, so that they knew that my principal already signed off on it.


Lisa Marker Robbins  10:24

I love that word. You use toolkit, right? So just think of a toolbox. And you were just putting all these things in there that were the tools to get this running. I think sometimes students have a great idea. And they feel like they’ve got all the time in the world. You know that it wasn’t going to happen if it What if it weren’t ready to go on August 1 of your school year. So that probably helped. I think I would say to students, like, create even a false deadline for yourself, even if it’s something that isn’t deadline driven, and listening to you talk and going, you had a whole lot of adult interaction, because I know that not only were you interacting with the adult, the online principal in your school principal, but you had to interact with the parents of the younger students. Is that correct? Yeah, I did. There are soft skills involves. So there were some hard skills as far as technical things and things like that. We’re going to refer everybody to your website at the end of our talk. But what would you say are some of the important soft skills that students a should be ready to lean on when they’re doing something like this? It’s going to be innovative, and they’re initiating, and they’re starting something? And what are those soft skills that grew for you through this experience, because employers, frankly, they can teach hard skills, but they’re looking for people with soft skills.


Sophia Chabris  11:48

I think like, the biggest soft skill that I realized I needed the most was hard working. If I hadn’t been able to like put the time in before emailing my principal to get those things done. I’m 95% sure this would not have become a thing, he was so overwhelmed. Like, when I read his email for the first time, he said, Thank you so much, I don’t have very much time because I have to come up with all these things, it was super helpful to have those already done. And then with that, also, knowing that I had to create a few more things before I met with him about three days later, knowing that I had to work hard and had to get it done. And not procrastinate was a big thing. I think the soft skill that grew the most for me was definitely communication. I’d only done it a little bit with teachers, like if I was out sick one day, like asking them what I missed, or if you could email me all the PDF forms. But I had never gone out and emailed back and forth with the principal or with the teacher, or even with parents like whether it was texting the parents asking if they’d been contacted by their volunteer, or if it was having to actually ask them if they had any ideas on how to make the program better. I had to learn communication, and I learned it in multiple different forms. And I really needed to grow on that section.


Lisa Marker Robbins  13:08

It’s gonna serve you well, yeah, you’re probably are you comfortable now communicating with adults? Or do you still get a little nervous?


Sophia Chabris  13:17

I think there’s a little bit of not nerves, but excitement. I am a little bit of like a adrenaline junkie. And so talking to people who aren’t my age, it’s a little nerve wracking, and I kind of look for it. But it’s become much easier. I will say the first time I ever talked to a parent on the phone. That was probably one of the scariest moments in this whole thing. I was sitting there hoping not to like fumble my words, or say something I didn’t mean I was just kind of like, sat there and a little bit of nerves and like a little frozen, formulating the sentences in my head before saying them. Whereas now it kind of comes more naturally doesn’t mean I don’t still formulate that in my head. still important to think before you speak. But it definitely has become a lot easier and a lot less nerve racking. You know, I’m


Lisa Marker Robbins  14:05

one of the things that I do for our students who I work with, I’ll create swipe files, which means it’s like the verbiage they can use for things. And I can just copy it, as you’re saying that I’m thinking like, it probably would be a great practice for somebody who’s first time reaching out to adults, just to maybe even write it out or type it up or have a bullet statement list on a post it note. Okay, so you’ve had this, I almost feel like you started a business, frankly. I mean, when I listen to you, as a business owner myself, have you learned things through this that have helped you think about your future differently. You’re in the middle of applying to college, and you’re creating future goals and you’re very forward thinking. So how has your experience made you think of your future college major and maybe ultimately your career differently?


Sophia Chabris  15:00

Yeah, so with all this program in itself, I got a few press, email me media emailing me asking to do interviews. Okay, I


Lisa Marker Robbins  15:09

gotta interrupt you. She was on the Today Show. So it started locally. But nationally, I had always


Sophia Chabris  15:15

wanted to be a public speaker or something that had to do with public speaking, I like to speak. It’s not nerve wracking for me as much as it is for some other students. So just having this constant, not constant. But having these interviews ever so often was great for me, it made me realize that this was something I wanted to do, whether it was going into politics or law, or just being like a figurehead for other people talking about important issues that are going on today. It was really big for me to see that that was something I actually enjoyed doing. And then I also had to market my program to the parents, whether it was emailing or actually creating like, a little thing that said, like, and you know, Crona care collars program. And I realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do. But it was really intriguing to me. So then I took a marketing class my next year at Indian house and enjoyed it, it definitely was something good, I would probably take classes like that in college. But definitely the being able to learn that public speaking was something I wanted to do was super helpful for me.


Lisa Marker Robbins  16:20

So that will for sure, probably be part of your future, whatever that career ends up looking like, we should tell everybody to this summer, you invented something last summer this summer, you have an internship for a mayoral candidate, and I would say it’s probably super helpful all of that experience that you got that summer after your sophomore year, to be able to get an internship like this hopefully COVID is going to be over is Corona Kara collar is going to come to an end as COVID comes to an end or what happens next critic hair


Sophia Chabris  16:53

colors will still be a thing. We have something at Indian Hill that kind of targets the freshmen into introducing them to the school. But I would like to target the sophomores not only did they not get a real freshman year experience. But as a sophomore myself, I kind of didn’t know the upperclassmen well enough to go hang out with them. All I feel really felt like I knew were the kids in my grade, I want to create this to help them have a closer relationship with the juniors and seniors so that they have a friend and other grades that they can talk to you or hang out with, if they don’t have a friend in their lunch bow.


Lisa Marker Robbins  17:28

So it’s sort of a almost like a buddy system or a mentor system. And it’s just going to be less hopefully online school be a thing of the past. And so we’ll still be helping other students. We should also mention that as you started to get attention for this, but the word spread in you actually replicated this in other communities. So you you were willing and generous enough to give everybody like people in Cincinnati and other school districts and outside of Cincinnati, everything you had to replicate it at their own school. Is that right?


Sophia Chabris  18:05

Yes. And thank God, I had started off like this whole program, launching and all that with a toolkit, because I easily just made a copy of it and put it in like for example the sycamore file or the reading file, and just sent it to the person I had the surveys and the questions and the text format for parents or email format for the parents all done. So all I had to do was jump on a zoom with them. Explain to them how I added it to my school, how they should add it to theirs. If they had any questions they asked and then I would send them on their way with the stuff. And they would just send me an update once the principal okayed it.


Lisa Marker Robbins  18:43

So honestly, you probably wouldn’t have had the time the bandwidth to help others get it started. Had you not had your toolkit, right? No, I


Sophia Chabris  18:52

would definitely not.


Lisa Marker Robbins  18:54

I know, I mean, I’ve known you for over a year. And I know you’re a very busy gal. So that would have been hard. So if if we’ve got somebody sitting here going like, Okay, I want to start something I don’t know where to get involved. So I’m going to start something on my own, what would be the advice, the most important piece of advice you would give to another teenager who wants to initiate a program on club, something in their own high school or community?


Sophia Chabris  19:22

My biggest piece of advice would just be if you are creating something from scratch, have as much written down as you can, whether it’s the idea of the club, or how the club would interact with other people at the school or what activities you want the club to do. Because you look so much more appealing as a student or as like, for example, like a product. It’s so much more appealing to buy a product that has all these benefits written out for you than if you went to go buy a product and there was nothing there that said like this is just the product we don’t have any benefits of it written down If it is so much easier for the client or the person to just want to take it up and bring it to the school, if you have something written down for them that they can show to other people at the school or other members of the staff that they would need to help create this to go on.


Lisa Marker Robbins  20:17

That is great. Well, I know people probably want to see what you created in your online. So if anybody who’s listening, this wants to reach out to you learn from you. Where can they find you?


Sophia Chabris  20:31

So we have a website. It’s WW dot, Corona, Kerr collars.com. On there, there’s multiple different things. All of my interviews are there except for the Today Show. They sadly don’t allow us to use their Yeah, sadly, they don’t allow us to use the link or anything like that. But on there, you can contact me there is a little section that says contact me. So yeah.


Lisa Marker Robbins  20:57

Great. Well, thanks for sharing your wisdom, your initiative, super proud of the impact that you’ve made. And I know you’re gonna go far. So thanks, Sophie.


Sophia Chabris  21:07

Thank you so much for having me on, and so I can help others take care.


Lisa Marker Robbins  21:13

So Sophia was a star student of mine whose walk matches her talk. I hope hearing her share, her experience has your juices flowing. Now for my weekly college bound challenge. With this topic in mind, I think it’s a great time to pull out your student’s extracurricular list, and do a review and discuss as a family, how what they are pursuing aligns with their passions and purpose. If you’re listening to this episode, at the time it goes live, it’s summer, and it’s a perfect time to revisit extracurricular involvement for the coming school year, and dream big on what might be possible. If you hear this challenge ago, what extracurricular lists Lisa, then take a step back and create a Google Doc, where your student lists all their activities from ninth grade forward. Do you know that colleges only want to hear about what students do in high school? Yep, you can not list activities that predate High School. So make that list now. So it will inspire intention about how the time outside of the classroom is being spent. Now as a reminder, if your teen is one of my lodge Career Clarity students inside my course, I provide a template for tracking extracurriculars. And my template is designed to at the same time, complete the activity section of the Common App college application that over 900 colleges use. So my launch students dive back into module four of your course in update this resource in response to this week’s challenge. Every year my students thanked me for the huge time saver this is when they start tackling college applications. If today’s episode was helpful to you, do me a favor and please share this with a friend who needs us to sharing following the podcast rating and reviewing helps us resource more students to launch into a successful future. Thank you for listening to the College and Career Clarity podcast. I hope your family move from overwhelmed and confused to motivated clear and confident about your team’s future.