Hometown Hero: Sophia Karegeannes

Published: May 12, 2021
By: UW-Parkside Communications

Original article posted by Racine County Eye

Sophia Karegeannes wears many hats, including a crown. The Racine County Eye Hometown Hero of the week is a future nurse, Miss Racine 2020, a reading tutor, CNA, and active community member. During National Nursing Week, we honor her commitment to the healthcare field and the Racine community.

Karegeannes is a graduate of The Prairie School. Directly after high school, she learned that attending the University of Wisconsin Madison wasn’t for her but found comfort in being closer to home. She lives and breathes her hometown.

Making a transfer, she now attends the University of Wisconsin Parkside. Her accomplishments recently include being admitted to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Nursing consortial program at Parkside.

In an Instagram Live TV series called Touching Base with Grace, hosted by UW-Parkside and student Grace Scalzo, Karegeannes breaks down her journey through school, nursing, and service work.

Furthermore, Karegeannes takes courses at Gateway Technical College to ensure that she will graduate in the spring of 2023. Most recently, she became a Certified Nursing Assistant through Gateway. But, soon, that timeline could change.

Serving Her City

Karegeannes in her personal protective equipment to stay safe against COVID-19
Although her course load is heavy, Karegeannes prioritizes the Racine community. In 2020, she became an ambassador of Racine through the Miss America Organization. Winning the title of Miss Racine has allowed her to serve and connect with her hometown.

In June of 2021, Karegeannes’ impact will go beyond the county lines. First, she will be traveling to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to compete for the title of Miss Wisconsin. Then, with the hopes to advance to the Miss America competition.

She says, “if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever,” and that’s how she balances a schedule packed from one end to the other.

Changing Missions

She began her year of service dedicated to a social impact initiative that focused on chronic illnesses and brought support to hospitalized patients’ siblings. However, her time serving took a turn when COVID-19 hit Racine. This drastic change has led Karegeannes to new opportunities and a change in her personal mission.

She says, “as a woman of faith, it is overwhelming to think that God always planned for my year as Miss Racine to be the same year as the COVID-19 pandemic. I had the opportunity to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while a patient was discharged from the hospital after spending time in the ICU from a COVID-19 diagnosis. Miss Racine serves as a light to her community no matter how dark of a time it is.”

With the hopes to become a future Labor and Delivery nurse, Karegeannes has found ways to connect her future job to her service work. Unexpected turns have led to knew found passions for Karegeannes.

More than her Title

Karegeannes is now working as a reading tutor at Cops N Kids Reading Center, 800 Villa Street. While most employees are retired or current teachers, Karegeannes took a leap of faith to earn this position. Her new job became her fuel for a new mission through her Miss Racine initiative.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Bringing the Gift of Reading to Everyones Neighborhood” is Karegeannes’ new cause that she’s choosing to promote.

Karegeannes says, ” I believe in the value of working hard, especially when it is in the interest of others. Miss Racine, nursing, and tutoring are all rooted in connecting with people through service.”

Inspiring the Next Generation

Karegeannes is a light, and where she walks, there is a beam shining on others. As she continues to study, serve as a CNA, and work towards becoming a nurse, there is no doubt that her impact is inspiring others.

“One of my students invited me to her home for Easter dinner this year. This same student has a newfound ambition of becoming a nurse. She has shared with me on multiple occasions that she hopes we can work at the same hospital together one day. I hope so, too,” says Karegeannes.

Hero in Action

Karegeannes is hosting a book drive on May 22, 2021, at Shorewest Realtors, 1557 S Green Bay Rd. The event will be held in the parking lot and will benefit the Cops N Kids Reading Center. From noon until 2 p.m., you can join Karegeannes.

While the event will follow COVID-19 safety measures, this is a great time to converse and get to know Karegeannes. Attend the event, ask her about her future nursing career and time spent contributing to Racine.

Additionally, support Karegeannes by voting for her for the Miss Wisconsin People Choice Award/Scholarship by clicking here. Finally, become involved with Cops N Kids by volunteering. See what opportunities are available by clicking here.

Highlight a Hero

Karegeannes is more than just a healthcare hero; she’s a hometown hero. She’s making a difference through medicine, service, and work in the community. If you know someone with a story worth sharing, contact Emma Widmar by emailing ewidmar@racinecountyeye.com.

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