Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff, Green Ribbon Champion & Miss Teen USA 2017
During her first year as a Green Ribbon Champion in 2018, Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff was shocked at how many connections she made or rekindled through her advocacy of organ and tissue donation.
“The sheer number of people I reached was amazing,” she said. “Whether it was people reaching out whom I hadn’t spoken to in years saying they saw a Green Ribbon ad, or friends of friends who saw the ads, it made an impact on so many.”
Sophia has recognized the value of organ donation since she was young, when her preschool teacher received a lifesaving liver transplant. While connecting with peers as a Green Ribbon Champion, Sophia says she broke down stereotypes and stigmas and helped cultivate a new community in support of donation.
“A lot of people my age don’t want to think about mortality and what comes after it. As people mature, they realize that it is not something we should fear, but rather adequately prepare for, and signing up as an organ donor is a very responsible first step.”
— Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff, Green Ribbon Champion
Moving into her second year with the Green Ribbon Campaign and Midwest Transplant Network, Sophia was excited to continue her advocacy work. The Parkville, Missouri, native and University of Kansas graduate has a global network, thanks largely to her title of Miss Teen USA 2017.
“Many people don’t realize that anyone can be a potential donor or recipient,” Sophia said. “I am so pleased to help create positive dialogue on organ donation in many communities.”