This week, I am excited to introduce Sophie Parker, the newest member of our team! She started last week as our Coordinator of Business Development and was already flying to Houston for a conference this week. Luckily, I was able to find time to sit down with her to get to know her a little better and learn more about what she hopes to do in her new position.
Can you share with us what brought you to Torsh?
I learned about Torsh through Idea Village, a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurship in New Orleans. I knew I wanted to work in a tech startup environment that was mission-driven, where I could feel passionate about the work I was doing. Torsh fit this bill perfectly. I heard Courtney speak and really liked his presence. He spoke about being committed to diversity and making a difference in education and these ideas resonated with me– that was the kind of company I wanted to work for.
You mentioned wanting to work for a mission-based company. Why are you drawn to making a difference in the education space?
Living and going to school in New Orleans has had a huge impact on me. I graduated from Tulane with a degree in political science and I know that the wonderful educational experience I had was a privilege. Being in NOLA, it was juxtaposed with the current educational disparities in public schools. I really feel that education is ground zero and that educational opportunities can have a significant impact on a child’s life trajectory. Making a difference in education means helping more children succeed.
So, you’ve been in New Orleans for five years now. What do you love about the city and what keeps you here?
I love so many things about New Orleans! I love that it is a very easy-going place and does not have a lot of rules when it comes to formality. I feel like it is an accessible and approachable place to enjoy yourself regardless of status, income, and background. And, of course, I love the food. What keeps me here? Friends, cheap rent and the need for pho.
What have you learned from your personal education experience that you will apply to your work at Torsh?
I would have really benefited from more mentorship, specifically female mentorship. There is something about a teacher saying “I think you would be really good at this” or “You would enjoy doing this” that can have a lasting impact. I had one teacher, Mrs. Meza, who did just that. She was my sophomore history teacher and she encouraged me to join the United Nations Club. I ended up loving it and when I transferred to a new school my junior year, I created a UN club there because my new school didn’t have one. I continued to be involved in the UN throughout college and it influenced my decision to major in Political Science. Teaching is such an important job. And what I love about Torsh is that the company believes great teachers matter and that we can help teachers improve through our professional development platform.
And to wrap up, what do you hope to learn from working here?
I would love to learn all of the different education jargon. Since my degree was not in education, I am excited to learn from the team and become more familiar with the education space. I also want to learn more about the edtech sales process and helping teachers and administrators find a tool to make their lives easier. I want to understand their needs and add value.