Sofia Mejia, a graduate student in the Cato College of Education, is studying counseling with a focus on school counseling. She is the graduate assistant for the Jamil Niner Student Pantry, where she runs its daily operations. Mejia schedules shopping appointments, volunteers and volunteer events, shops for food and partners with organizations in the community such as Loaves and Fishes and Hope Street.
Why did you choose to work at the pantry?
I worked at a food pantry in an elementary school when I was an undergraduate, and I loved it. I was very excited when I heard that UNC Charlotte provided the same resources to college students.
What is the most rewarding part of your position at the pantry?
The most rewarding part of my position is seeing all of the shoppers and getting to know their names and interests. I also love working with the volunteers and seeing how they have grown throughout the semester.
Why should Niner Nation support the Pantry during #GivingTuesday?
We are currently serving the highest number of students on a weekly basis than we have in past semesters. Students here at UNC Charlotte deserve to have basic resources so they can succeed. Students are often overlooked when it comes to food and basic housing insecurity. Our goal here at the Jamil Niner Student Pantry is to empower students by providing food resources so they can succeed.
What are three words you would use to describe UNC Charlotte?
Supportive/welcoming, fun and beautiful campus (I know that's two words).
Where is your favorite place to hang out on campus?
I know that I may be biased, but the Leadership and Community Engagement office in the Popp Martin Student Union. Everyone there is so kind and very welcoming. They gave me a lot of advice and have continued to support me as I am going through my graduate program.
What is a fun fact about you that many people may not know?
I love dinosaurs, they are possibly one of my favorite animals. Dino goes to UNC Charlotte is one of my favorite Instagram accounts. I was so excited that they came to the Jamil Niner Student Pantry
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Remember your why.” Things are going to get tough, and they might not go according to plan, but if you remember why you are doing what you are doing, it makes it all worth it. I am here because I want to give others support and resources, and I care about their well-being, that is why I work here at the pantry and am going into counseling.