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Meet Our Scholars

scholars - art

Sonya Rangel

East Los Angeles College

Theater Arts


Community College

JCPenney Scholarship

Born in South Gate California, Sonya is a Mexican-American pansexual who grew up as a lonely child, finding immense difficulty making and keeping friendships. Her only consistent interactions were emotionally invalidating parents as well as an impatient brother and emotionally distant sister, both 10 years older. In middle school, she struggled academically, finding little to no motivation with low self-esteem and poor mental health. She gave up opportunities to join contests, clubs, and social interactions due to always feeling rejected and unwanted by her peers and friends. Gradually near the end of grade 10, after losing one of her dearest friends to her inability to grow, she realized that her misery became toxic to others and tried to change. She transferred into the art academy at her high school and found great joy and satisfaction in creating art. She earned better grades, strengthened her remaining friendships, and gained new ones. She also found her boyfriend, and through him, discovered the possibility she might be autistic. She found immense happiness and continued to grow and thrive, even when she had to take virtual school due to the pandemic. Eventually, in grade 12, she found a love of costume design while taking technical theater and wishes to pursue it as a career. Whether for theatre or film, it does not matter to her as long as she has the chance to create.

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