Mattress Firm Student of the Week: Bozeman High's Sophie May

You might recognize Sophie May as a captain of the Bozeman Lady Hawks soccer team, but that's only a tiny slice of the person she is. May is crossing over into the basketball world and changing lives at the same time.

"She's really kind, very smart, and very skilled," said Special Olympian Billy West.

Special Olympian Payton Fulton added, "She's an awesome friend and helper in basketball."

May is also a volunteer coach for the Special Olympics, a peer tutor for the special education class, and an active member of the high school's Partners Club.

"It really helps you put life in perspective," said senior Sophie May. "I think it's cool to hang out with some genuinely really nice people and kind of has helped my learn how to interact with people and learn acceptance."

No matter what it is she's doing at the moment, it's always with an open heart and pure intentions.

"It's just a really good community. It's a fun way to hang out with the kids that I did Special Olympics with and then get to know them a little better and hang out with them at school," said May.

Bozeman High's Special Education Teacher, Tonya Shonkwiler, also weighed in on her impact within the program."Not only are they building friendships but they're also able to promote really great social skills for each other," said Shonkwiler. "They're working on their conversation skills and what it means to be a friend."

But with juggling so much, her life can get a little crazy.

"This year I won't be able to go to area games for Special Olympics basketball because I have state soccer," said May regretfully.

But her friends and teacher appreciate her even more because of her commitment. "Somehow, she balances it all on top of school and she's a really good student," said Shonkwiler. "I don't know how she balances it, but she does it. She does it with a smile."

May hopes she inspires more people to get out of their own comfort zones and change lives at the same time, too. 

"When I found out about Partner's Club it opened up a lot of opportunities for me to join other clubs, the Special Olympics and for me to get to know more kids," said May. "I think it was a good way to truly a good way to get involved in the school and get to know some of my peers."

Because of her experience within the programs, she'll be studying occupational therapy after graduation. 

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