After graduating from Drury in 2010, Sonya headed to Los Angeles in search of a career. She soon found a job at Live Nation, a company specializing in entertainment and promotions. Sonya earned a promotion to vice president of accounts and found herself working long hours with the teams of various musical artists to make sure Live Nation events were memorable. One of the most well-known celebrities she supported was Lady Gaga.
After two years on the job, Sonya realized her career wasn’t fulfilling her need to help others. She decided it was time to make a change and pursue her passion. She left Live Nation, hung up the office clothes, partnered with her sister Tedi, and headed to the beach to launch Sand Sisters.
Sand Sisters is a program where young girls and boys can hang out on the beach and escape the chaotic world around them. The participants paddle board and engage in various activities on the beach, including yoga and crafts. Everything is designed to build the self-esteem of the participants, which makes for a very different work day. For instance, she spent Valentine’s Day weaving floral headdresses with her fellow Sand Sisters.
What does Sonya think of her new job?
“Better. Just better. We get to meet so many new people in the community who want to help with what we are doing. Plus, I get to be my own boss.”
Sonya took over the business side of Sand Sisters and uses what she learned in the Department of Communication to find new community partners to support their goal of helping young girls and boys live life to the fullest.
While at Drury, Sonya majored in Advertising and Public Relations. Her favorite memories of campus are attending the famous Late Night Breakfast during finals week and playing in the snow with her Pi Beta Phi sisters. Sonya was an active member of AD Team. “It was so cool. It bonded us as a department and I even used the final presentation at my interview for Live Nation.” Sonya also credits Dr. Gilstrap’s research class in preparing her for the workplace.
Sonya’s advises Drury’s students to take risks.
“The more risks you take, the more you grow, so don’t take the safe route.”
Following her own advice, she is building a business and helping young people in the L.A. area discover their full potential.
Newsletter contributor: Sara Beck