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Chatting with Sofia Carson About Everything From Her Latina Heritage To Her Work With UNICEF USA

The year is 2010. You come back from school after a long day and immediately run to the television and turn on Disney Channel. Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place and Shake It Up – yeah, those were the days! 

If you’re like me and are still obsessed with Disney, then you must remember the 2015 Disney Channel Original Movie, Descendants, which was about the children of famous Disney villains. Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen from Snow White, was played by Latina actress Sofia Carson. Since her Disney days, Carson has continued her acting and singing career along with being an ambassador for UNICEF USA. She is very passionate about social work and wants to help amplify the voices of women, particularly Latina women, and strives to use her platform to do just that.

During a Zoom call, hosted by Her Campus and º1824 on Feb. 2, Carson shared her personal experiences, which led to her interest in helping out underprivileged women. 

According to their website, º1824 is a USA-based creative solutions team under the Universal Music Group (UMG). They strive to bridge the connection between artists, brands and their fans through different panels and storytelling experiences. º1824 also aims to redefine artist development while also helping to shape and build the careers of upcoming industry executives.

While on a trip to Barranquilla, Colombia, at the age of 12 with her mother, grandmother and younger sister, Carson visited a battered women’s shelter. There, she met 11-year-old Maria, an abused girl who had given birth to her step-father’s child. Being just a year older than Maria, Carson recalls that that experience is very close to her heart. This eye-opening trip was the start of her advocacy for the long line of underprivileged humanitarian beliefs. 

She wanted to be part of something bigger, something that would directly provide aid to Latina girls and women, like Maria, who were suffering and didn’t have the funds or support to help themselves. That’s why she joined UNICEF.

Since joining the organization in 2017, Carson became an ambassador for UNICEF USA in 2020. Through the organization, she aims to further aid children’s rights and the Latina community, specifically by focusing on female empowerment. Over the years, Carson has used her social media platforms to raise awareness about the injustices faced by young women in hopes of protecting them. In 2019, she partnered with UNICEF to help young women across the globe obtain an education, supporting the Keeping Girls in School Act

Carson shared that she was able to take a trip to Brazil with UNICEF in 2019 and directly help the children in the community. She visited schools and community centres to truly experience the full effect of UNICEF and its goal to help those around the world. Through this trip, Carson was able to help amplify the voices of young children and create an environment where they could thrive both personally and educationally. Throughout her years with UNICEF USA, Carson is grateful to be an ambassador and to be part of all the work they do. As a Latina, Carson would like to help others achieve their full potential. Being a graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), attaining a postsecondary education is something that means a lot to her and she wishes to help provide that to others.

Other ambassadors for UNICEF USA include P!nk, Selena Gomez and Lucy Liu.

During the panel, Carson shared that her inspiration for her work was sparked by the woman who means the most to her: Her mother, Laura Char Carson. Although born and brought up in the States, Carson knew how important it was for her to learn about her Colombian heritage. Her mother was the one who exposed her to both American and Latino culture from a young age, and she recalls Latino music playing around the house. She said that some of her biggest inspirations were Latina icons Gloria Estefan and Selena and American icon Cher.

Carson’s new song, “Loud”, which was released Jan. 14 of this year, is an ode to her mom. The inspiration comes from being unapologetic and completely yourself. “Loud” is all about letting your own light shine through, and is meant to mean something different to each listener. 

Share what your “Loud” is with us!

Nashra Syed

Ryerson '24

Nashra is a second-year journalism student at Ryerson University. She hopes to work in the sports and entertainment industry as a producer or broadcaster. Her favourite food is tacos and her favourite sports team is the Toronto Raptors.
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