Mom’s sacrifices motivates psych major

psychology brain

By CAROLINA BARBA, Staff Reporter |

From receiving great opportunities such as traveling to Peru with Amarillo College, to learning how to sew during a wardrobe malfunction on the same trip, Spencer Sopha has had many adventures at AC.

Sopha is an AC psychology major. He has many hobbies such as traveling and working out and he has a huge passion for photography. He is also a member of the Presidential Scholars Honors Program at AC, which is a program that gives high-achieving and motivated students the opportunity to participate in student-centered learning experiences.

“Spencer is soft-spoken,” Lesley Ingham, honors co-coordinator and speech instructor, said. “He is well-dressed. He is intelligent and he has a good sense of humor.”

Sopha said his main source of motivation is his mother who keeps pushing him to strive for greatness and to become successful. 

“What or who motivates me to be the person I am every day is my mom because she came from another country and sacrificed everything whenever she immigrated to the United States to give my brother and I the opportunities she couldn’t have,” he said.

Sopha said although his mother’s sacrifices keep him going, his happiness and accomplishments make a huge impact on his motivation as well. 

“His motives, from what I assume, are to be successful and happy in whatever he chooses to do in life,” Damian Sopha, Spencer’s brother, said. “Secondly, family keeps him going. He wants to be able to take care of our parents in the future.” 

Sopha said his hobbies have also shaped him to be the person he is today. “What I love about my hobbies is that not a lot of people are able to do them,” Sopha, said. 

“Photography is something challenging because you need to find the time to go out and take pictures and learn how to edit,” he said. “Every time I travel it changes my perspective and I learn more about myself such as the things I like and don’t like. As for going to the gym and working out, I believe it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and be fit because it avoids future health problems.” 

Being a student at AC has been worthwhile, according to Sopha, mainly because he is a member of the Presidential Scholars. Ingham agreed that he works hard to contribute to the program. 

“He interviewed well and he is an effective communicator and he just brings fun and style into the group,” Ingham, said.

“The Presidential Scholars program has allowed me to become more outgoing and surprisingly made my experience at AC fun. From leadership retreats to traveling internationally, I was able to do things that I never expected to do while at AC,” Sopha said. 

Sopha added that the obstacles he has faced have helped him become independent and hardworking. 

“The main challenge I face every day is that I can’t go home to my brother and ask for help since he’s moved to Dallas for college and not only that, but my mom works 12-hour shifts from two in the afternoon to three in the morning. I spend most of my days alone and I do everything by myself,” Sopha said. 

Ingham said Sopha’s hard work and dedication will open doors in the future.

“I just really appreciate Spencer being around because he is just focused. He’s professional. He is a lot of fun and I just like his personal standards. He inspires me to put myself together better and have a little more style. He is just a delight to be around,” Ingham said.

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