Nearly two months after the Beverly Hills, 90210 actor died from a massive stroke at age 52, Sophie announced that she was officially opening her first preschool in Malawi, Africa — and that the school would be named after her late father.
Over the past few months, Sophie, 18, and two other friends, Gabriela and Ruben, have been living in Malawi, serving as development instructors to help build preschools in rural communities.
“thank you to everybody who donated to help with our projects! Our first school is finished and I can’t tell you how proud and excited I am to see it open on Wednesday,” she wrote on Instagram Monday, referencing the GoFundMe link she had shared a few days earlier.
Along with the group shot outside of the school, Sophie added, “Thank you to my amazing partner Ruben for everything. Especially for fighting to name the school after my dad.”
thank you to everybody who donated to help with our projects! Our first school is finished and I can’t tell you how proud and excited I am to see it open on Wednesday. Thank you to my amazing partner Ruben for everything. Especially for fighting to name the school after my dad.
A post shared by Sophie Perry (@lemonperry) on Apr 29, 2019 at 1:29am PDT
One day after his death, the teen spoke out about losing her father on social media.
“A lot has happened in this past week for me,” she captioned her Instagram post of the father and daughter. “Everything is happening so fast. I made it back from Malawi just in time to be here with my family, And in the past 24 hours I have received an overwhelming amount of love and support.”
“I cannot individually respond to the hundreds of beautiful and heartfelt messages, but I see them, and appreciate you all for sending positivity to my family and I,” she continued. “I’m not really sure what to say or do in this situation, it’s something you aren’t ever given a lesson on how to handle, especially when it’s all happening in the public eye. So with me and know that I am grateful for all the love. Just, being grateful quietly.”
In the wake of her father’s death, Sophie has been open with her followers about her grieving process, sharing that although she is mourning in private, she’s still continuing to celebrate life — just as the actor would have wanted her to.
“Since my dad died I have received a lot of attention online. And most of it has been positive but of course, some people just can’t be nice,” she wrote on Instagram on March 11, before revealing that she was facing criticism from internet trolls.
“I’m here to say that I did not ask for this attention, I did not ask to be thrown into some virtual spotlight, and while I don’t mean to offend anybody, I’m also not going to cater to anyone else’s needs and beliefs,” she shared. “I’m 18. I swear like a sailor and sometimes I dress like a hooker. And I support causes and you may not. And most importantly. I am going to laugh and smile and live my normal life.”
She continued: “YES I am hurt and sad and crying and beside myself with what happened to my dad. It’s the worst thing to ever happen in my life. And I am torn the f— up over it. But I’m not going to sit in my room and cry day in and day out until the internet has deemed it appropriate for me to do otherwise. And if you knew my dad you would know he wouldnt want me to. So you shouldn’t either.”
Luke and Sophie PerrySophie Perry/Instagram
Sophie revealed she was returning to Malawi at the beginning of April and opened up about leaving home in a post on Instagram.
“First few days back in Malawi have been very emotional but it feels right to come back, to finish what I started, to do the most with whatever time we have left. I recently learned that may not be as much time as we think,” she captioned a photo and video documenting her time abroad.
“It was quick and scary to leave home again so soon, but there’s a job to be done, and someone to make proud. Also excuse my ‘post 30 hours of travel’ face,” added Sophie, who wore an “Andrews Construction” hat, which was the name of the company owned by her father’s Riverdale character Fred Andrews.
Luke shared both Sophie and son Jack, 21, with ex Rachel “Minnie” Sharp.