A Gardener, a Philosopher and an Entrepreneur


Roaf at a this years HOCO – Photo Credit to Penelope Smith

Lavia Raof (10) is a complex woman of many interests. She has a taste for ancient Greece and anthropology, as she finds the culture surrounding humans in ancient history to be interesting. When it comes to the spiritual aspect of it all, she doesn’t claim herself as religious; she just can’t help but be drawn to it. 

“The study of religion throughout cultures is just so cool, the spirituality of everything,” Raof said. She said she comes from a family that has always been spiritual  in one way or another, which is part of why she finds the topic so tantalizing to begin with. 

Among her many interests is reading. Lavia loves realistic-fiction the most, but also really likes manifestos, or just people talking about concepts and ideas. She says that she wants to someday own a bookstore in a busy city like New York, Manhattan or Brooykln but “anywhere but Staten Island,” with little to no explanation on why that is.
Raof also has a love for gardening, rooting back to her grandfather who owned a garden. She remembers there being a scarecrow covering a garden of mint. She took some of it home and planted it, and that is where her love for gardening had begun. 

Though she has plenty of interests and things to do, Lavia is just like anyone else! Sometimes she just needs to relax and do something for herself. Such as: “Just like, I don’t know, sitting down and looking and just thinking.” She goes on to say that she appreciates her peace and quiet time and often daydreams to just relax. 

The world of interpretive philosophy also has a grip on her, as she recalled writing a personal narrative about a labyrinth. She details that the “labyrinth is really you, your mind, and no matter how much you try to escape the labyrinth you will never leave”. It’s an endless, violent cycle that perpetuates a pattern of self hate and no matter what you do you will always come back to the middle where it all started. 

“My friend actually wants to be a philosophy major, but I think I might wanna minor in it. I don’t know if it depends, I’m open to anything,” Raof said. She was surprised to hear it was a popular option. 

Lavia is many things, a reader, a gardener, a thinker. And above all else, she enjoys the peace in things, and if a thought has gone unexplored she sees no problem in taking that into her own hands.