Sophia Biazus
Sophia Biazus soh-fee-uh bee-ahh-zus
News Reporter, Phoenix

Sophia Biazus expects to graduate in December 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. Biazus plans to intern as a reporter at the Phoenix New Times this year.

Latest from Sophia Biazus

Teen Lifeline’s new program supports teens who have attempted suicide

PHOENIX — Teen Lifeline, a local nonprofit dedicated to preventing teen suicide, has introducted an initiative with a goal of reducing repeated suicide attempts. Modeled after the Caring Contacts program for adults, volunteer peer counselors reach out to teens who have been discharged from the hospital following a suicide attempt with supportive phone calls, texts, handwritten notes and care packages.

Counselors receive messages from teenagers who have called in to express their gratitude. Teen Lifeline keeps the messages and hangs them in their hotline room. (Photo courtesy of Teen Lifeline)

Group mentor program in Tucson teaches male youth about healthy relationships

TUCSON – A mentoring program is using talking circles, adventure outings and overnight camping trips to help young men develop positive and healthy relationships. The goal is to give every boy in middle and high school access to safe and trusted men.

Young men and their mentors gather around a campfire at a Boys to Men camping weekend. (Photo courtesy of Boys to Men Tucson)

Valleywise Health expands access for young adults experiencing serious mental issues

PHOENIX – Valleywise Health is opening a second First Episode Center, an outpatient behavioral health center for young adults experiencing their first serious mental health episode. It can’t come soon enough. There is a dire need for programs that address mental health in young adults not just in Maricopa County but across the country, said Dr. Aris Mosley, a psychiatrist and medical director of the Valleywise Health First Episode Center in Avondale.

A counselor works with a patient at Valleywise Health’s First Episode Center in Avondale. (Photo courtesy of Valleywise Health)

Black community leaders advocate for bans on flavored tobacco, fight for ordinances to limit sales

PHOENIX — Black community leaders and organizations fight to make Arizona tobacco free.

Left: Channel Powe advocates for a smoke-free state on No Menthol Sunday, May 21, 2023. Center: “I’ve been teaching smoking cessation for many years. I used to take my son with me to my classes and have him pass out the materials because I thought it would be a good thing for him to see what the hazards are of smoking and for him not to do it,” Cynthia Smitherman said. Right: Rodney Smith pictured at 18 years old. He died 30 years later from head and neck cancer. (Left photo courtesy of Channel Powe, middle photo courtesy of Cynthia Smitherman, right photo courtesy of Cynthia Smitherman)

Proposed Arizona legislation would protect access to birth control

PHOENIX — On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, Democratic leaders vowed to preserve access to contraceptives for all Arizonians. Rep. Athena Salman, D-Tempe, said she plans to introduce a bill during the next legislative session that would assure access to birth control. Gov. Katie Hobbs joined Salman and others at a press conference Thursday to discuss the proposed Arizona Right to Contraception Act.

Gov. Katie Hobbs says she supports a proposed Arizona Right to Contraception Act. (File photo by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

New report shows Arizona children’s well-being improves slightly but state still ranks among the worst

PHOENIX – An annual report that measures the well-being of children shows slight improvement for Arizona kids, but it also raises child care concerns.

Founded by Joseph Ignacio Flores, Academia Del Pueblo is a kindergarten through eighth grade school that offers an early childhood center. Photo taken Tuesday, June 13, 2023. (Photo by Sophia Biazus/Cronkite News)

State legislators host town hall on guardianship abuses and hear brutal realities of probate court

PHOENIX – Legislators outline a proposed bill that would provide healthier methods of guardianship in a town hall meeting at Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus.

State legislators and disability advocates attend a legislative town hall to discuss Arizona’s guardianship process and offer alternatives for consideration in the next legislative session. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)

Arizona State University plans new medical school among efforts to address gaps in state health care

TEMPE – The Arizona Board of Regents asked Arizona’s three universities to create real-world solutions to the state’s health care crisis. ASU responded with plans for ASU Health, which includes a new medical school focused on medical engineering and technology.

ASU President Michael Crow, left, and Fred DuVal, chair elect of the Arizona Board of Regents, confer after the regents meeting where Crow announced a new medical school on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Photo by Sophia Biazus/Cronkite News)