A talented teenager who helps others through music and reading has been shortlisted as a finalist in a competition that hails the ‘giving to others’ of Cambridgeshire’s younger generation.
Sophie Frear, 16, dedicates her own time to helping vulnerable teenagers while also tutoring her classmates and helping youngsters learn to read.
Now she been shortlisted for the LifePlus Young People of the Year awards or ‘YOPEYs’ – Oscars for young people who ‘give to others’.
The annual contest has over £1,000 to be won by young people who are positive role models.
Sophie, of Lancaster Way, Chatteris, was nominated by class mate Casey Fitzgerald from Cromwell Community College for the support she has given him.
Casey said: “Sophie is a caring young individual who always looks out for others before herself. Last year she volunteered at the local library to encourage youngsters to read throughout the summer. She’s tutored me as well as three others for free during the GCSEs.
“Without her, I wouldn’t have got the grades I did, I went from a D to a B in chemistry because she took the time to help me.
“She’s also a very talented singer and has performed for four years at local charity events such as for the Stand United charity, dementia and a local “Sandbox Group” who help homeless people.
“She writes songs about health problems, such as depression and anxiety, to post on her Facebook page to help other people know that they are not alone.
“Sophie puts her talents and knowledge to good use and is very kind.”
Sophie’s head of year teacher, Michelle Priest, said Sophie had impressed the school with the considerable contribution she had made and had just been awarded the school’s annual governors’ award.
Michelle said: “Sophie is an enthusiastic and hardworking pupil. She is well organised, well presented and well behaved.
“Sophie has always loved reading in Year 7, she took part in the Carnegie Reading Challenge and last summer, when other teenagers were taking it easy and enjoying the sunshine with their friends, Sophie volunteered at the town library. She helped younger children to read and passed on her love of reading to others.
“As a member of the Kick Ash Team, she helped spread the message about the dangers of smoking to younger pupils, taking part in a flash dance event in Huntingdon to raise awareness of the Kick Ash message.
“Throughout her time at Cromwell, Sophie has been very active in singing and song writing. She has made a really positive contribution to school life, regularly appearing in school productions and musical performances.
“This year, Sophie has taken on a leading role in the prom committee where she makes sure things are done efficiently, assiduously typing and sending out minutes after every meeting.
Sophie said: “People need someone to talk to and the more people reach out to me, the more I like helping them. I really enjoy seeing how children engage with reading. The youngest I’ve helped were around four years old. They would choose a book, take it away then come back the following week and tell me about it. Then they’d get a reward and the more rewards they got the closer they were to completing the challenge.”
She also uses music and songs to help relate to other teenagers, which she shares on her Facebook page – sophiefrearmusic. Thousands of people have looked at her pages.
She said: “I started playing music at five years old, although I’ve never had an instrument lesson and I don’t have any grades. But I’ve taught myself, learning through Youtube.”
She is now studying biology, chemistry and maths A-levels, and hopes to go to medical school at Cambridge.
Sophie will hear shortly if she has made the awards ceremony will be held at St John’s College, Cambridge, this autumn.