Sandy Creek senior encourages involvement in school

Be involved.

Sophia Mains has done just that during her time at Sandy Creek Christian Academy, balancing academics with a variety of sports, groups and jobs.

She recently gave a presentation about her high school career to younger kids at the Seymour school and shared an important message.

“I told them, ‘Whatever you do, be involved because you don’t want to grow up and look back and think, ‘Wow! I wish I would have done that,'” the 17-year-old said.

“If your teacher says, ‘Would you like to be a part of this?’ unless you have a really good reason why you can’t, say ‘yes’ because there are so many opportunities out there, and you don’t even really know what you like yet,” she said. “Figure that out, and you want to figure yourself out. Be involved, and be a part. I think that’s so important.”

Mains will be one of seven graduates receiving their diplomas during commencement at 2 p.m. Saturday at The Tabernacle in downtown Seymour.

In that building is where Mains’ educational journey began. She attended preschool at Little Angels Day Care before moving into what was then known as Seymour Christian Academy.

Her mother, Rebekah, was the elementary administrator at the time and still is today.

“My mom was really invested in this school, and so it made sense for me to come, as well,” Sophia said. “All of my friends were here, and I grew up around the school. There’s nothing about my school that I didn’t like.”

Over the years, she said she especially has liked the small class sizes.

“I like being able to connect with my teachers personally,” she said. “I like being in a Christian environment.”

While she said part of her doesn’t like having to wear a school uniform, she has adapted to it.

“It makes sense. It looks nice. It makes it easy in the morning. You know what you’re going to wear every day,” she said, smiling.

When the school was still downtown six years ago, it became accredited. Enrollment has increased ever since.

During Sophia’s freshman year, the high school students moved to a new location along Sandy Creek Drive. Then last year, the rest of the students joined the high-schoolers there.

“That was a huge blessing to be here,” Sophia said. “God’s hand has been in it all. I believe that because we’ve been blessed over and over and over, and I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for the teachers that have stuck through it all because it has been crazy for them, too.”

Sophia started playing volleyball in third grade. She was the junior varsity team captain her junior year and varsity captain this school year. She also has helped teach the sport to third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at the school, including serving as a coach this year.

Her only other sport was cross-country as a junior when the school added that to the offerings.

She was the student council secretary last school year and president this year, participated in school plays from seventh to 12th grades and was a part of the worship band that plays at chapel, including being the band leader this year.

The past three years, Sophia joined others at her school traveling to the student convention in Illinois for a variety of competitions.

“Everything from track and field and volleyball and basketball to sewing and photography and art, it’s really cool,” she said. “And they have vocal performances.”

All four years of high school, Sophia has worked as an assistant to high school administrator Misty Arrowood.

“I’ve just helped out any way they need me around the school,” she said.

One day, an emergency came up, and her mom wasn’t able to be at school and couldn’t find a substitute teacher, so Sophia taught her elementary math class during her study hall.

“That was kind of crazy,” she said, smiling.

From March 2017 to February this year, Sophia also held down a job at Mi Casa Mexican Restaurante in Seymour. That allowed her to practice speaking Spanish, a language she has long been passionate about.

“The other employees, they knew I wanted to learn Spanish, and they were always talking with me in Spanish,” Sophia said. “If there were not customers in the restaurant, they were helping me learn new things. It was really cool, so I’ve had a lot of opportunities and experiences to learn. That’s something I love doing, and so I would love to continue that in my future.”

Sophia credits her high school Spanish teacher, Sharon Mullen, for instilling her love of the language.

“I already have that little fire there, and she helped it grow,” Sophia said. “She really took me under her wing because she saw how passionate I was about learning.”

One time, Mullen let Sophia accompany her to a Hispanic friend’s baby shower.

“It was just all Spanish, and I was able to kind of jump in,” Sophia said. “Now, any time I am at a Hispanic restaurant, I always order in Spanish and speak. I’m not fluent, obviously, but I’m working toward that. I can hold a pretty good conversation, and (Mullen) has helped me a lot.”

At commencement, she will give one speech as valedictorian and student body president. Her brother, Drew, was valedictorian and student body president for the Class of 2017.

“I’m a little bit competitive, and I like succeeding in what I do,” she said, smiling. “I don’t like to do something and then just not care and not follow through. If I’m asked to do something or if I want to do something, I want to be good at it. In academics, I’ve always wanted to be good at it, and so I’ve worked hard to achieve good grades and things like that.”

After graduation, Sophia plans to take some general education classes for a semester at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus. Then she will transfer to Indiana Bible College and University of Indianapolis, which are about a block from each other.

She plans to study worship services at IBC and major in business administration or communications and minor in Spanish at UIndy. She is interested in becoming a Spanish interpreter.

“I’m leaning more toward the business side because that’s kind of what I’m in now helping Mrs. Arrowood with administrative work, and that’s something I enjoy,” Sophia said of her major at UIndy.

As far as IBC, she said, “I play piano and I sing for church and things like that, and I want to continue to develop that, as well, and continue working in churches and things in my future.”

Sophia said she’s ready to graduate and “move on to bigger and better things.”

“I’m going to miss certain things about being here,” she said of high school, “but I’m ready to move on and to see what else God has in store for me.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Mains file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Sophia Mains

Age: 17

Hometown: Seymour

Residence: Seymour

School: Sandy Creek Christian Academy

School activities: Volleyball, cross-country, student council, worship band, school plays, administrative assistant

Future plans: Attend Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus for a semester and then transfer to Indiana Bible College and University of Indianapolis; she plans to study worship services at IBC and major in business administration or communications and minor in Spanish at UIndy

Family: Parents, Jon and Rebekah Mains; brother, Drew Mains, 19; sister, Alaina Mains, 13; grandmother, Gayle Skaggs

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What: Sandy Creek Christian Academy commencement

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Tabernacle, 301 Indianapolis Ave., Seymour

Who: 7 seniors will graduate