SRA Alum on Staff: Sophie Lau

SRA is celebrating our SRA Alums who are now on staff!


Hear from SRA Alum and Advisor Sophie Lau. Sophie is a Students Rising Above Alum from the Class of 2003. She attended UC Berkeley and joined SRA as an Advisor in 2020. Sophie feels privileged to be able to give back to her community.


Read the full story below:


How did you start working for SRA?

I started working for SRA in August of 2020 when I applied to be a Part-Time College and Career Advisor. Contributing back to SRA in this capacity has consistency been in my mind as an alum over the years.  I was encouraged by my SRA Advisor, Barb Hendricks as well as Lorna Contreras (alum and former Senior Director of Program Strategy at SRA).

Tell us about your current role!

I am a Part-Time College and Career Advisor and a Full-Time School Social Worker at Castro Valley Unified School District.  I work primarily at the Wellness Center in Castro Valley High school serving at-promise youth with social emotional support as well as resources and referrals.

What’s your favorite part about being an SRA Advisor?

My favorite part about being an SRA Advisor is connecting with my student on a personal level, hearing their stories and their triumphs over time. I also enjoy working with a team of staff that genuinely care about this community of students and being colleagues with fellow alums!

How have you adapted to the virtual work environment – do you have any advice for others?

While I enjoy the flexibility that remote work offers, I miss the real-time connections that face-to-face meetings/gatherings would bring.  Being adaptive and flexible may be helpful for someone who is and/or considering to work remotely for the long-haul.

How do you feel you have grown since your time being in the SRA Program to now working for SRA?

It’s transformative! I honestly can’t recognize the person that was on the video being interviewed back in 2003.  The journey has not been easy, but very rewarding and I could not have done it without SRA and my advisor who have supported me then and now.

Do you have anything you’d like to share with our students and/or community?

Don’t give up! While things may seem tough (sometimes, even impossible), don’t give up on your dreams, goals, and yourself! You are more than enough to conquer anything you set your heart and mind to. We are cheering for you!