Sonya Kedarnath: Overcoming Restriction

By Raphia Ngoutane

Sonya Kedarnath is a 15-year-old aspiring journalist who is overcoming the restrictions surrounding her life.

Kedarnath was born on August 23, 1997 in the Bronx, to parents who migrated to the United States from Guyana. She grew up attending Catholic School until she graduated middle school. Starting on on the fall of 2011, Sonya started attending a public high school in the Bronx called the Metropolitan Soundview High School.

“Life in catholic school was always strict. They are more old fashion, while public schools are more open-minded and offer a better education,” Kedarnath said.

As an aspiring journalist, Kedarnath said, “I used to love science before, but now I am really into journalism.” She added,  “My nun teacher in catholic school told me that I was a really good writer and that I wrote above my grade level.”

She said her teacher’s statements inspired her to further pursue her writing. As a result, during her first year at MSHS, which happened to be a new school, Kedarnath decided to launch the school’s first newspaper, “The young writers club,” of which she became the chief editor.

As a chief editor of “The young writers club,” Kedarnath believes that the key to maintaining a newspaper club in high school is to incorporate students’ opinions and make sure their voices are heard.

Kedarnath comes from what she calls a very “strict” household, for example she can’t hang out with her friends or have her friends over. Despite those restriction, Kedarnath believes that “the harder you work, the more success will somehow come out of it.”

As a middle child, Kedarnath is always competing with her two siblings when it comes to school, which gives her the motivation to excel. One of her siblings is Khemilla Kedarnath, her older sister, who says the younger Kedarnath is “creatively funny.” When asked if the two were close since they are only 11 months apart, the younger Kedarnath said, dubiously, “uhh… I guess we are close.” Despite the sister’s occasional quarrels, at the end of the day they are still there for one another, she concluded.

When asked if she agrees with raising a child strictly, as her parents did with her,she said, “I think that there needs to be a level of both strictness and freedom.”

One of Kedarnath’s biggest motivations, aside from competition with her siblings, are Mamasa, Emanuella and Ariel – her three close friends. The friends are always there for each other and stand up for one another, Kedarnath says, but their friendship has also motivated them to do great academically and be part of the top five students at their school.

When Kedarnath is not working on her dream job to become a journalist or writing for her school newspaper, you can find her listening to music, watching comedy movies, or shopping. As a teenager, Kedarnath is very open-minded about a lot of things. For example, when it comes to music, she listens to a different variety – from pop to country – and many other genres. she has a love for comedy movies such as “Rush Hour 2”.

With only 19 months to go college application, Kedarnath already knows that she wants to major in Journalism and that she would like to go to college somewhere in the Pennsylvania, because  “it’s a different environment and I can see different views,” she says.

Her ambition for exploring and discovering new things plays a major role in her desire to take a year off either before college or after college, in order to travel. “I want to take a year off and just travel to the United Kingdom, Dominica Republic and other countries,” she said.

Kedarnath believes that when one has a positive mindset and wants to achieve something, then anything is possible. “Laughter is the key to life,” she says, inspiringly.

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