BRIGHT FUTURES — Nederland senior Sofia Nuno Chavez uses love for language to connect cultures

Published 12:34 am Tuesday, November 29, 2022

NEDERLAND — Sofia Nuno Chavez moved to the United States from Mexico City when she was in the fifth grade.

From Mexico, her family moved to Sugarland for a little over a year before moving to Oregon for two years before making Nederland home.

When not at school or involved in numerous extracurricular activities, Nuno Chavez likes to tutor kids from Mexico in English.

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“I want to go to school for linguistics,” she said. “There is a lot of stuff I have read in English and Spanish, and you see a difference in the translation. Sometimes there are more difficult things in Spanish that I understand better in English and the other way. That is what drew me in.”

Sofia Nuno Chavez wants to study linguistics at the college level. (Chris Moore/The News)

The intense interest in linguistics started over the summer while she was taking a philosophy class for the University of Chicago.

“It was Happiness Through Thought Art and Western Culture,” she said. “It was a lot of philosophy and sociology. A lot of the text we had to read was stuff I had already read, but in Spanish. I was trying to read them in English and couldn’t understand parts of it. It just wasn’t flowing correctly for me.”

The senior said she cherished her time in the University of Chicago summer program.

“I met a lot of cool people, who are from all over the world,” she said. “I have friends from Romania and the U.K. I try to keep in contact with all of them, but the time differences make it a little difficult sometimes.”

Nuno Chavez’s interest in tutoring came from a need to teach her younger family members English.

“One day, my aunt said she really needed her kid to pass an English test,” she said. “She asked if I could help out and it turned into a weekly thing. That takes up quite a bit of time.”

The Nederland senior is also in Diversity United, Art Club and UIL Math.

“I love going to coffee shops,” she said. “Starbucks is where I am half the time. My friends and I go there every week. I have been teaching myself piano for the last couple of years. I can kind of do that.”

Nederland Assistant Principal Brandy Roy said Chavez’s perspective is invaluable on the campus.

“I think in today’s time, it is a benefit,” Roy said. “Like she said, she is in Diversity United. The world that we live in is so diverse. We need people that put a focus on our differences. A lot of times, we like to hide our differences. To have those clubs and community that are proud of those differences, they will let those things shine instead of trying to mask those things.”

Roy said she is particularly interested in the senior’s love of linguistics.

“I am not sure anyone has had the desire to do those things the way she does,” Roy said.