Sophia Pink is an 11th grader at Washington International School.
Last year, while my classmates at Washington International School sat at their desks by day and did their homework by night, I skipped school. And not just once. I didn’t attend a single day of 10th grade.
In ninth grade, I was frustrated. In school, I marched to other people’s orders, leaving little time to complete projects I was really interested in. So I arranged with my parents and my school to take a year off — my own sabbatical.
I loved it. During the year, I made a film about a man who stands in downtown Washington holding signs urging Monday morning commuters to smile. I completed a Google Science Fair project that studied whether reminding high school students that they may be tired affects their problem-solving skills. I also tried and failed, at least so far, to develop a mobile app called UPliftr that prompts users to do good deeds, such as holding a door open for a stranger, letting another driver cut in or giving someone an unexpected high five.