September 1, 2021

Sofia Ochoa - 2021 Rob Vega Scholarship Recipient

Partnering with the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

We are Proud to Sponsor the Rob Vega Memorial Scholarship

We are proud to announce that our firm has partnered with the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As a part of that partnership, we sponsored this year’s Rob Vega Memorial Scholarship, which was established to increase Hispanic presence in the legal field.

To celebrate the work we are doing with the Pittsburgh Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, we hosted the firm's first-ever Diversity & Inclusion event at the Roberto Clemente Museum in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. We toured the museum, enjoyed Hispanic food and heard from the Executive Director of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Melanie Boyer.

We also met the 2021 Rob Vega Memorial Scholarship winner: Sofia Ochoa, a University of Pittsburgh School of Law student. Ms. Ochoa won in a unanimous decision by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s scholarship committee, and once you hear her story, we’re sure you’ll understand why.

Meet Sofia Ochoa - This Year's Rob Vega Memorial Scholarship Winner

Sofia Ochoa's journey to the University of Pittsburgh School of Law began when she was nine years old.

In fourth grade, she noticed that her peers were struggling with math. Her solution? Write a book. Ms. Ochoa’s first book, Fourth Grade Math Rules, was successful enough that she wrote a follow up, Fifth Grade Math Rules. Both were published (in both English and Spanish) by the time she was 10 years old.

She wanted to do more, however, and in 2010 she started her nonprofit, Building Smart Kids. “Starting a nonprofit was the best way to reach the most people, so it was the logical next step. I never considered not taking the next step,” she said. Building Smart Kids is still in operation today, and its mission is to reach children who don’t have access to quality education or who live in underserved communities and need extra support. The program is free to all families.

Sofia’s impressive resume doesn’t stop there. She went on to graduate from high school at the age of 16 and traveled to Switzerland to study International Economics for a year. She then came back to the United States and attended Harvard, where she majored in Government.

During her undergraduate studies, Ms. Ochoa realized that while tutoring and support programs are important, educational achievement gaps are best addressed at a policy level. That realization is what drove her to set her sights on law school, with a focus on public policy.

The newest leg of her journey began this summer when she arrived at Pitt’s School of Law and was awarded the Rob Vega Memorial Scholarship. We are honored to be a part of this remarkable young woman’s story and can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in the future.

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