The Academies at South Mountain
Rafael Sotomayor, a senior at The Academies at South Mountain, is proud to have grown up in Phoenix and has a strong sense of affinity for his home city. He loves knowing that, even in South Phoenix, he can make it far and do well for himself. Before coming to South Mountain, Rafael was a student in the Roosevelt Elementary School District. His favorite thing about being a student at The Academies at South Mountain is how accepting and open to ideas all of the students are. He feels that the community is diverse and that many people defy expectations. One of the lessons he has learned while at South Mountain has been that first impressions are not always what they seem, and to not judge a book by its cover.
After graduating from The Academies at South Mountain, Rafael plans to attend community college and then a university to major in Secondary Education with a focus on History. He plans to become a history teacher, most likely at the high school level, and is open to returning to Phoenix Union to teach after receiving his teaching certificate. He wants to be a teacher because his mother was a Kindergarten teacher for over 20 years, and he has a vast amount of respect for teachers. From his observation, he feels that teachers usually join the profession for the kids, and not necessarily for themselves. One of his greatest joys in life is helping others. He feels a deep sense of fulfillment when he is able to help someone out with anything.
In his free time, Rafael enjoys going on walks, playing video games, learning new things, and hanging out with friends. He also participated in Men's Volleyball at South Mountain for 2 years. To the Class of 2022, Rafael says, "Even when you feel that things are hopeless or the times are dark, at the end of the day, things will settle."