Becoming Her Hero: Sophie’s Story

Ever since Sophie underwent treatment, she has known she wanted to go to school to be a physician assistant. Inspired by her own PA during her time in the hospital, Sophie hopes to one day emulate her role model.

“Her PA was always someone that she talked to every time she was in the hospital,” said Pittsburgh program specialist Matthew. “She felt really comfortable with her and that was someone that made that experience better than what it was.”

Enter Emily Horosko, a physician assistant with Nephrology at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. With Sophie being a junior in high school and envisioning her life after graduation, Emily has been there every step of the way in helping her narrow down her choice of school and find the perfect fit to further her education.

Their conversations involve everything from what kind of program to enroll in to what college Sophie thinks would be the best for her.

“Sophie has such a great background,” said Matthew. “She is taking college classes and doing labs at the University of Pittsburgh. She’s already killing it and what’s great about this friendship is that she still has those questions and is trying to figure out what is the best case for her.”

The cool thing about Sophie and Emily’s friendship is that they talk about more than just Sophie’s future plans.

“When they’re on a meeting, they’re talking for the full hour,” said Matthew. “A lot of it is about Sophie’s future, but Sophie gives updates about what is going on for her marching band or swim team. These meetings are just relaxing, hanging out and talking.”

Sophie met a physician assistant years ago that inspired her to pursue a life in medicine. With the help of her new PA friend, Emily, she is able to envision that bright future ahead.

Activity Kits

National Geographic Science Magic Kit

​Help 8-year-old Joe

Future Scientist

Get a science experiment kit to explore with his mentor!

​Help 9-year-old Myla

Future Artist

Get art supplies to create with her mentor!

Help 23-year-old Erik

Future Coffee Barista

Get coffee supplies to learn how to create specialty drinks with his mentor!

The pandemic showed many people what social isolation is really like. It also showed there are many other great ways to connect. That’s why we launched our activity kits. These mailed out packages provide fun activities for our mentors and kids/young adults to do together — virtually.

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