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May Volunteer of the Month: Sophia Hashmey, Highlands Youth (HY) Advisory Board

Sophia Hashmey, right, is seen with her family.

My family moved to the Highlands from Atlanta, Ga., when I was 2-years-old. I grew up in this community and have seen its changes, both physical and social.

Back then, I remember strolling through gravel lots and running around in developing areas. Our city had a long way to go before becoming mature, just like me.

The years passed by, and slowly, new additions to our town stood brightly and brought a lot of excitement; the movie theater, restaurants and new community activities all increased my love for this place.

It was the activities especially that caught my interest. My parents would arrive home and pass by a celebration on the Village Green Park. They would tell my sister and me to enjoy ourselves and meet people our age there. There were so many events to get involved with! Highlands Day, the Easter egg hunts, community art projects and many more activities were always keeping the neighborhood moving — and they still do!

When I was old enough, I wanted to volunteer and be a part of planning the fun. Each event I helped plan with the HY made me feel a little wiser, a little more involved and a little more like a leader.

More than anything else, I learned what community really meant to me once I became a part of the HY Board. At first, I thought community events were only about the fun that we have together and friends we meet, but I realized that being part of a community is much, much more than that. Respecting others’ lifestyles, accommodating for a variety of needs and expanding my own views is what I learned from the people around me. Every event not only helped me become more mature, but also led to my deep appreciation of creating a mindful and supportive environment.

For anyone who wishes to volunteer for the Highlands, I ask that you keep these values in mind whenever you interact with a neighbor, friend or stranger.

We are all growing up with our own gravel lots to fill, but I am glad to be surrounded by people who make sure what we build is strong, meaningful, and fun, too.

I will never forget the lessons I learned and the people I met here. As I move on to university, I know each “hi” and “how are you” will carry bits of what I learned growing up in this wonderful city. Keep it up Highlanders! I’ll see you soon.

Sophia Hashmey is a senior at Issaquah High School and a Park Drive resident. 

Are you inspired to get involved in the Issaquah Highlands community?
Opportunities are available!

Click here to discover all the different ways you can get involved in our Issaquah Highlands community, including opportunities to join boards and committees, as well as urgent needs at local nonprofits.

Questions? Contact Lindsey Pinkston, Highlands Council Program Manager.