Class of ’23 Senior Spotlight: Zoey Ocampo-Sobkoviak

Name, city of residence:

Zoey Ocampo-Sobkoviak, Watsonville

Grade you started at MMS:

Fifth grade

What inspires you?

What inspires me are people who defy expectations in a positive way and don’t let others define them.

What is your favorite subject in school, and why?

My favorite subject of all time is history, because I love learning about how people used to live and how their actions have impacted our lives today. History also has a lot to do with the arts and the development of culture which is fascinating to me. Marine biology is a close second.

If you had the power to change on thing in the world, what would it be?

Some of our most obvious problems like the climate crisis, racism or gender-based violence, for example, are interrelated and I can’t say with confidence that I find one to be more pressing than another. However, I do wish that people could treat each other with a little more kindness, empath, and curiosity, because I think that would greatly reduce the bigotry and ignorance we see in the world.

If you could anywhere, where would you go, and why?

I want to travel to Bahia, Brazil because I did capoeira when I was younger and I love the natural and cultural beauty of Brazil, the West African influences in Bahia, and I want to practice my Portuguese skills.

Name one big challenge in your life right now:

A big challenge in my life right now is figuring out what I want to do in the next years of my life and how I am going to support myself financially, emotionally and otherwise in my future endeavors.

What is your dream job and why?

My dream job is to be an actress or poet and social/environmental activist. I want to use a background in environmental or marine biology to help me in my activism work. As you can tell I have a lot of different career goals, so we’ll see where life actually takes me.

What are your three favorite things?

My favorite things are art of all kinds, food and traveling.

Favorite book:

My favorite book is “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros. The book is beautifully written and is one of my biggest poetic influences even though it is technically prose. The book makes me feel seen and at the same time forces me to think outside myself and towards the subtle beauty of the people who make up my everyday life. Cisneros is an inspiration for me as a writer, specifically when I write about the concepts of identity and belonging.

What do you want to do after high school?

After high school I want to go to college and study abroad for a semester so that I can learn while traveling. I also definitely want to try to visit Brazil and maybe work there for a while.

Something that you are proud of – and why:

I am proud of the work I have done with the Student Government Association in bringing new activities and events to our school, and I want to continue finding ways that we can connect with our broader community. I think it is super important to have a student body that is excited about coming to school and making new connections through community service or fun activities.

Something that makes you smile:

Having random dance parties with my siblings in the kitchen makes me smile.

A favorite MMS memory:

One of my favorite MMS memories is when I swam in the pond behind the maintenance shed with Bella, Savannah, and my brother Izaak during a teacher in-service day. This is one of my favorite MMS memories because it represents a very carefree time for me enjoying the nature around us.

The three most-played songs on your favorite playlist:

“Tadow” by FKJ and Masego, “Wow Freestyle” (featuring Kendrick Lamar) by Jay Rock and “Después de la Playa” by Bad Bunny