By Sheereen Charles
So who watched One Tree Hill when it was still running? I know I did! (If you haven’t experienced the magnificence of One Tree Hill yet, don’t worry – it’s on Netflix.) An inspiring young woman, Brooke Davis, played by Sophia Bush, was always one of my favorite characters.
With nine years of work on One Tree Hill, her restaurant “Maialano”, a fashion line, and a starring role in NBC’s Chicago P.D. under her belt, Bush is now focusing her sights on philanthropy. Bush has always been passionate about making a difference. When she learned of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, she decided to actively speak her thoughts on social media. “I didn’t join any platform to build a brand…I joined a platform because I had things I wanted to say,” she says. Now she uses her Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to express her ideas and interests and personally campaign for different causes.
Since then, Sophia has tirelessly been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts. She is on the advisory board for Pencils of Promise and the U.S. chapter of Invisible Children, for which she has helped build three schools. She is a supporter of all things eco-friendly, including her favorite apparel brand, Reformation, which was designed by a close friend. In the past, she visited Uganda and represented accessory brands that empowered victims of sex trafficking. She has also assisted in a project called I AM THAT GIRL, which encourages girls to love themselves instead of doubt themselves. The program is for women of all ages and teaches them to work together instead of tear each other down.
Even the editor of Glamour, Cindy Lev, has teamed up with Bush to start The Girl Project. The project will center on empowering women, sharing encouraging stories, administering education, and providing female healthcare. Bush has also teamed up with Randi Shnider, creator of Fusion Beauty and Clean Perfume, to produce the beauty line, I smell great.
“I was sick of beauty brands that exist to make women feel like they’re not enough and thus have to purchase something to feel beautiful,” Bush explains. To counteract these insulting beauty brands, Bush created eco-friendly products through I smell great that boost women’s self-confidence. Using the eco-friendly brand helps promote positivity and make women feel good about themselves. The product also self-revitalizes its scent after a couple hours wearing it.
Sophia Bush continues to act, and she isn’t slowing down anytime soon. She dreams of taking her acting career to new heights and philanthropic efforts to the next level through a global audience. “The dream is what you imagine; the hustle is what you have to do to actually live it, and the hustle is hard, no matter what career path you’re in,” she says. But her main goal, like Project GirlSpire’s, is and always will be to one day achieve true social and gender equality around the world.