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NextGen 2020

Sophia Lee

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Journalist and Writer

16, Media

By Lisa Dukart

Photo By Tessa Marie Images.

Sophia Lee is among the few teen journalists who can say they’ve been published in the New York Times. Last year, her piece, “Nothing Gets Between Me and My Sushi … Except Plastic, Maybe,” was a winner in the newspaper’s sixth annual Student Editorial Contest. It was one of just 12 submissions selected from over 10,000 entries.

Lee’s story offers a satirical but educational look at how microplastics and changes to the environment are impacting many aspects of daily life. “I’ve always been told, ‘Reuse, reduce, recycle’—especially for plastics,” says Lee, who will be a junior this fall at the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr. “There are crazy amounts of plastic discarded every year.”

Since her big win, Lee has done additional reporting on climate change and other topics. She’s also developed an interest in poetry and has been involved in her school’s newspaper and literary magazine. This past year, her work snagged 10 gold finishes in the regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition, plus a number of silver place finishes. “When I was younger, my parents told me I was too sassy,” says Lee. “Nowadays, I save that for my writing.”

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