Stajez empowers students of all levels of ages, levels of ability and ethnic backgrounds to be confident, disciplined and respectful members in their communities through the use of the arts. Stajez is dedicated to engaging, Inspiring, empowering and encouraging young people to strive for and achieve academic and artistic excellence while building a stronger relationship with God and servicing their community. .
About Our Founder
Sophia spent the last 30 years dedicating her life to dance, music, the community, and her family. At the young age of nine years old Sophia began her dance career at the Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts in Boston, MA under the tutelage of noted instructor Ms. Andrea Herbert Major. Through the gifting of Ms. Andrea, Sophia studied dance and got her first experience as a singer. In addition, she received theater training from Youth Boston and Wheelock Family Theater. Thereafter, she became a part of Dreamers Incorporated, a youth organization who trained and developed rising stars in the Boston area. As a participant in Dreamers Inc. Sophia became a member of Boston’s hottest female vocalist group, SoChey. Under the management of Dreamers Inc. her group performed with many accomplished artists such as LL Cool J, MC Lyte, Silk, Joe, Melba Moore, Pattie Labelle, Black Street and many more. SoChey held the title of Grand Champion from the Apollo Theater Amateur Night and Sony Music "New Artist of the Year." SoChey was featured on the BET in the new artist spotlight. Sophia dove heavy into her music career and went on to work with Knock Out Entertainment, a New York-based agency that landed her a record deal with Mass Appeal Records.
Right after graduating high school and at the young age of 17 Sophia was offered the lead role in the off-Broadway hit musical "Mama I Want To Sing." While on tour with "Mama I Want To Sing," Sophia was discovered by the producer of the nationally, televised show "Star Search." She competed and won first place in the female vocalist category. Later Sophia went on to study at Newbury College earning a Degree in Business. She went on to study music at Berkeley College of Music where she was able to study with some of the best musicians in the business.
Sophia has always been a giver and has always wanted to give back to the world what God has given her. After having her first child she decided that it was that time to pour back into her community. This is when Stajez was born. In 1994 she opened her doors to Boston Ma. As a single mother, she knew that she had to provide for her daughter and she knew that she had to do something that she loved. Something from the heart that she could make a personal connection and eventually a spiritual connection with others. As the Founder and Artistic Director, she has been able to touch many lives through Stajez Cultural Arts Center and the many outreach programs she has developed. Currently, Sophia is the Performing Arts Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Boston where she has been a loyal employee for the past five years and the Dance Ministry leader for New Dimension Church in Rhode Island for the past year and a half. Her continuous hard work and dedication to the community have given her recognition by many political figures including Boston’s own Mayor Thomas Menino. Sophia was recently awarded the MLK Spirit of Youth Award in the Town of Randolph & the prestigious Robert Quinn Award for community service with excellence from UMass Boston.