Faces of Denver – Sophia T. Bohall!
Sophia T. Bohall grew up on the east coast outside of Washington, D.C., in Clarksville, Maryland. Although she was raised in a metropolitan area she craved a more laid back environment so after graduating High School she jetted off to Arizona State University (ASU), “I only applied to colleges where you could wear flip-flops year round, that was my criteria, I really didn’t want to go to college and my parents were like you’re going to college.”
She majored in Criminal Justice and by a fluke she minored in Sign Language, ASU required a Foreign Language for her Major but learning a Foreign Language had always posed a challenge for her while growing up. She discovered she could take a Sign Language class instead and once she took her first class she couldn’t get enough of it, “it was awesome…I loved and it was easy and I loved being able to communicate with deaf people, it was really interesting…I took all the sign language classes they had and I ended up getting a Minor in it.”
Upon graduation in 2007, she decided to become a Sign Language Interpreter, she enrolled in a 3-year Interpreting Program in Westminster, Colorado. In 2011, upon obtaining her Associates in Interpreting and after many months of trying to find a job, she made the bold and brave decision to start her own business—STS Interpreting (www.stsinterpreting.com).
Sophia provides freelance interpreting services for the deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing individuals at Elementary Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Corporations, Medical Facilities, and the Federal Government to name a few. In 2012, she obtained her Colorado certification called the Authorized: Educational Interpreter (A:EI) but she wanted to take it even further, “one of the ultimate end goals in being an American Sign Language Interpreter is getting your national certification, which is called the NIC, the National Interpreter Certification.”, she says. After lots of studying and hard work she achieved her ultimate goal and earned her National Interpreter Certification in February of 2017.
Sophia also takes a lot of pride in serving her community, she serves as the Vice President for the Registered Neighborhood Organization in Platt Park, “about three years ago I started going to the board meetings because I wanted to see if maybe by being on the board it might be a good idea, so I joined the board because I knew it would be something good for me to do in our community…I’ve loved doing everything we’ve done, we organize summer events, we have monthly happy hours, we have our annual picnic in Platt Park we organize every year and then we started doing blow up screen movies nights in the park, we did two or three last year and we’re doing one this year in August.”
She is also highly involved with the Arizona State University Alumni Association, “I organize an event every year in the summer, all the High School seniors that are going to go to ASU in the Fall, we have a send off for them, we have a big BBQ and a gathering where we just play and have a good time, so I run that every year in Wash Park and I love it, it’s a big BBQ with usually 100 to 150 people there, I go to all their board meetings, we do a lot of volunteer stuff in our community. I really enjoy it.”
Sophia is certainly one busy woman with a big heart and with a huge smile on her face she shares this with me, “so now I’m Nationally certified, and honestly I thought that was an end goal for me but now it’s more challenging than ever, it’s a whole new level in pushing myself and my career. I love it, I get to wake up everyday and help people and that’s the ultimate goal, when I lie in bed at night, and I think to myself, I helped someone today, or I helped 12 people today and it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”