Senior's words to bring 'Judge Judy' to graduation ceremony

Sophia Mallory won an essay contest for "Judge Judy" to speak at her high school graduation. (WCHS/WVAH)

One South Charleston senior is solely responsible for the guest speaker for her graduating class.

A month ago in civics class, Sophia Mallory was asked to explain in 250 words or less why "Judge Judy," (real name Judy Sheindlin) the TV judge with the no-nonsense approach, should speak at her high school graduation.

Mallory filled out the essay, just like the rest of her peers, and weeks later three of them had made it into the top 10.

Click below to see the essay. App users click here.

"We were all really disappointed. In the middle of eighth period, I get a call on my phone from L.A. and it was them saying I had won. So it was a whirlwind," Mallory said.

Now "Judge Judy" will be at Mallory's graduation speaking because of her.

In her essay, Mallory said she focused on teens lack of educational drive in the state. She said South Charleston High School's one of the exceptions.

"We're an education driven school. I think that kind of took her by surprise. That I am self-aware of where I live and I do love West Virginia with my whole heart, for what it is and for the lack of educationally driven plans here. So I think that really spoke to her," Mallory said.

Mallory thinks Sheindlin's disposition may be what this state needs to hear.

"She is so to the point. She doesn't mess around, and I think that's what everyone needs, a less sugar coating voice to tell you, 'Hey, your wrong,' " Mallory said.

That is why Mallory wants to stay in West Virginia and be part of the answer for which the state is looking.

"I want to start a wildlife sanctuary here for our animals," Mallory said.

Mallory hopes students take note of their guest speaker's accomplishments as they start their next path.

"I hope she will have some really good words on how to handle ourselves as we go into adulthood or try to manage a career because she did go from nothing to one of the highest paid daytime television people," Mallory said.

The graduation ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Charleston Civic Center.

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