HUMBLE, Texas (KTRK) -- A high school senior got the news of a lifetime on Wednesday. Sofia "Sunshine" Plata has been singing her heart out since the sixth grade, and now, the rest of the world will hear that gift.
Sofia was given a silver ticket to audition for American Idol producers.
ABC13's Erica Simon was in on the reveal. First, Simon had Sofia take her on a tour of Summer Creek High School.
"Tell me. How did you get the name Sunshine?" Simon asked. "It's actually my middle name. My mom paved the way for me years ago with that name. My sister's middle name is Sky."
Sofia is not a typical student. She's also the president of the Summer Creek High School choir, and her teachers believe she has a special gift.
Her voice coach, middle school choir teacher, and high school choir teacher all saw something in her early on.
Sofia's mom Alma Plata is one of her biggest cheerleaders and has also served as 'momager.'
"She will go far because she has the total package. She works so hard. Like any mom, I want Sofia to be happy and reach her dreams," Plata said.
Although singing comes naturally, Sofia has had some challenges. She was diagnosed with dyslexia and used to be shy. That combo means she had to be intentional about overcoming nervousness and be ready to perform in front of thousands. She's done just that through competitions in Humble and at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Once the tour ended, Erica had Sofia sing in front of her peers in choir class. When she wrapped up, Erica let the cat out of the bag.
"I want to thank you for taking me on a tour of your school (Wednesday) and getting to know more about you, but I have a secret. The real reason I came here (Wednesday) is because I have a surprise for you. We talked a lot about manifestation and using your gifts. That starts today. This is a silver ticket to audition for American Idol producers!" Erica said.
Sofia was met with tears, hugs, and well wishes from not only her classmates and teachers but also her family, who came in after the presentation.
That wasn't the only surprise.
In 2021, ABC13's Samica Knight surprised Douglas Mills at Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts with a silver ticket. On Wednesday, he passed the torch and sent Sofia a message of good wishes. ABC13 doesn't have a timeline of when Sofia will get her chance to sing in front of producers, but we'll keep you posted. She tells Eyewitness News that she takes some deep breaths before every performance and asks God to sing through her.