Sonja Williams, Highland Hall alumna and daughter of high school teacher Noah Williams IV, has been teaching math and science at LAUSD for over 14 years. In her spare time, Sonja has freelanced in a popular circus troupe called Cirque Berzerk which has provided an outlet for her creative and theatrical talents. While at Carver Middle School in South LA, her claim to fame was the creation of a "haunted house" for Halloween. Instead of paying for a ticket, students had to write a two-page scary story in order to gain entrance. "It became a big hit with the kids and it helped them to express themselves creatively." This year she transferred to King Middle School in Silver Lake and is now teaching all subjects in their Environmental Science Magnet.
This past year Sonja co-founded an outdoor education program to ensure that "no child is left inside." Her non-profit, called WYLD (Wylderness, Youth, Leadership and Diversity), combines outdoor education for underserved youth with wilderness therapy for military veterans. "Our goal is to build long-term relationships between the youth and veterans." The plan is to work with the same group of kids up through high school and mentor them as they transition into college or a career. "We want them to know that they have options and to inspire a love of the outdoors. We also want to help returning vets to have purposeful work by putting their outdoor skills to use and mentoring kids in need."
In her spare time, Sonja enjoys hiking, biking, playing circus clown, and giving her dad a hard time. To learn more about WYLD, or to contribute to the organization, visit www.wyld.org