Guest Post: Sophia Tuinstra, future lawyer

My experience with Ellen has had a big impact on me. Not only have we explored the law field together; but Ellen has become a close friend. When I was much sicker, and not able to leave the hospital, Ellen would come to my room and we would talk about how each of us were doing and then that would lead to books and magazines she gave me to read. We would discuss what we learned, what we thought was interesting, and then from there, we started to pin point what I was drawn to in the legal community.

Together, we attended a Moot Court at the University of Pittsburgh. A month later, we had the chance to meet the author of a book we just finished reading together, Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson, a criminal justice lawyer who defends the poor, wrongly accused, and condemned. Not only did we hear him speak at the Robert Morris University Pittsburgh Speaker Series, but I also got to ask him all of my questions with Ellen at a reception and dinner before the event!

All of these experiences I’ve had with Ellen, even during my long stays in the hospital have helped me to have a positive outlook on my cancer treatments. Every time I read a book or article that Ellen sends me, or when we call, or go to an event, I forget about my anxieties and my situation. We are planning out our summer together and I can’t wait!

I appreciate so much Connecting Champions and all they have done for me in fostering this connection between us. 

Sophia Tuinstra

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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