Andrienne Sits Down with Sonia Manzano


Sonia Manzano is someone who likes to solve problems. Working hard, putting effort into it, and getting a result is what she does. But the thing in which Sonia really prides herself is “connecting through people on Sesame Street,” where she can share her life with others.

When Sesame Street was first getting started, Sonia went in for an audition. Back “in the days when one person could make a decision,” and she got the part. Because of the different levels of education between the Bronx and Brooklyn, auditioning for college was where she saw her future.


Growing up, daydreaming and reading were not accepted. Her parents, in poverty-stricken situations, laughed, and Sonia saw that they laughed “in direct proportion to the misery they felt.” If someone had free time, they would put that free time to some good use, and eventually, Sonia realized that she had to wake up, “even though it was painful,” and that “people [were] sympathetic when they [were] well-fed and safe.” Joining Sesame Street helped, as a place where she could value herself more, because her peers did, too.


With a constantly changing world of technology and media, Sonia notes that “you find examples of yourself everywhere,” and that people look up to these examples. Writing books is where Sonia finds “a creative place to put all the creative energy,” and books are the places where she shares her experiences with the world.