Sophia Maynard
Sophia Maynard
Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, in memory of Ben Thomas Featherston
Forty Acres Scholars Class of 2026
Houston, Texas
High School
Mirabeau B Lamar Senior High School

I like to think of people as puzzles. We are products of our experiences, the people we encounter and with whom we forge relationships, the decisions we make, and the lessons we learn. The pieces in my puzzle have equipped me with the necessary tools for change and success. Whether this is my role as vice president of Best Buddies, my place in my church's student leadership team, my ability to achieve in business operations for a local jewelry company LeMel, the youngest intern at a federal courthouse, or my proud role as a foster sister. I realized my role was to lead and inspire others on the basis of empathy and innovation.

I have found myself making the largest impact not by what I am able to teach others, but by what they are able to teach me. I love working with people and have found my passion in advocating for underrepresented groups in both students with Intellectual and developmental disabilities and the foster system. While I have learned so much from those I have led, and those I have been inspired by, I am thrilled for my new chapter. I will continue to work towards changing the world through a life of purpose, one puzzle piece at a time.

Special Education

Other Academic Interests
Government, Business

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program?
I have lived my life on the basis that knowledge shared is knowledge multiplied. Knowledge is simply the most powerful tool people can possess, and there is power in the knowledge that can be shared between communities and peers. That is what drew me most to the Forty Acres Scholars Program, as it will allow me to not only be surrounded by peers who challenge my existing knowledge, but share a common drive to continually learn more. I am thrilled to be surrounded by such a knowledgeable and diverse group of peers and to learn more, not only from those in my cohort but those in the cohorts ahead of me.

What makes your scholar cohort unique?
My cohort is unique because of the many talents, interests, and skills each person possesses. While I spoke to each person at finalist weekend, all sharing a tidbit of what we have done to change the world I realized how wildly different we all are. While we share a common drive to succeed and inspire, our paths to get there are entirely different. I look forward to what we will achieve, learn, and teach one another in our coming years on the Forty Acres.

Favorite FASP Memory
It's going to be our retreat! I know it!

What do you want prospective students to know about The University of Texas?
The University of Texas offers a place that feels like home and supplies opportunities for any dream or career goal. You are able to not only attend a challenging institution but find your place in the clubs and communities UT has to offer. It is not every day that you can attend a university in the capital of Texas, surrounded by peers that are well-rounded and driven by the common goal to change the world.