You may recognize her as the “Spirit Week girl” on BYU-Idaho’s social media, but Sophie Perez, a junior studying business management marketing, does much more than that.

“My goal with everything that I do on campus is to instill the same joy that I have had being at this school; to share how truly amazing it is to be here and how wonderful it is and how hard the students try here,” Perez said.

During her freshman year, Perez was interested in joining the student council.

“I had never thought that they would let a freshman on any sort of University student council,” Perez said. “… I had no idea that I would be accepted or that, that was available to me to be involved with my school, especially so early on. I think that really helped me enjoy being here. I really do love this school.”

Students a part of the Student Representative Council.

Sophie Perez (front, second from right) sits on the student representative council. Photo credit: BYU-Idaho

Apart from coordinating Spirit Week’s social media and serving on the student council, Perez works with BYU-Idaho’s accessibility services, new student mentoring and is the captain of a flag football team. While juggling all these activities, she shares how she manages to make other students her motive.

“Making other people feel happy here or feel like they belong here or feel like they’re wanted,” Perez said. “Like if they’re not in the room, that there’s someone who’s thinking about them. If I can do that for people that’s what really makes me happy. That’s what makes me want to continue to be involved.”

Students have expressed their appreciation for Spirit Week.

“I did the service projects or went to service projects on Monday and it was cool to see all the people there all trying to do some service, and I like the focus on that here,” said Erin Hill, a freshman at BYU-I.

The focus described by Hill is aptly captured by the theme of the 2023 Spirit Week, “A Beacon of Light.”

“As we strive to live like Christ, each of us can be beacons of light to those around us and to the world,” BYU-I’s website says.

Sophie Perez coordinates the social media for BYU-I's spirit week.

Sophie Perez coordinates the social media for BYU-I's spirit week. Photo credit: Gabe Mills

Perez hopes to be a beacon of light for other students. She highlights the guiding influences of the school’s dedicated staff.

“The faculty and professors have made me feel like there are people who want me to do well, who want me to succeed,” Perez said. “Being here, I felt like there are people who are rooting for me, people who want me to win, who want me to do well. And so because people have built me up and made me feel so good here, I feel like I should give that back to other people.”