Featured Friar: Sorieba Fofanah ’22

by awakelin


Features


Sorieba Fofanah ’22 has been a committed member of the Providence College community for the past three years. Originally from Beverly, MA, Fofanah is double majoring in biology and psychology, seeking a certificate in neuroscience. His deep love for PC stems from the first time he set foot on campus, five years ago.

“I distinctly remember the day, the moment, and the second that I made my decision to attend Providence College,” Fofanah says. “It was Family Day, and Father [James] Cuddy, [O.P.,] one of the friars on campus, was giving the homily for the Accepted Students Mass. He said that ‘Some of you may be looking for that one thing that makes Providence College stand out, and we hope it does, but you will know if it’s right for you if you open up your heart and trust in yourself and God.’ When walking out of Slavin, I turned to my mom, and seeing the tears in her eyes, we both said: ‘This is it.’” 

Fofanah’s passion for the College has grown ever since and  extends into his involvement on campus. He is a member of the Board of Programmers, the executive secretary of PC’s a capella club, an orientation leader, a Horizons mentor, as well as a singer in the ensemble at the 10 p.m. Mass in St. Dominic Chapel. When asked specifically about the Board of Programmers and its presence on campus, Fofanah said that “the Board illustrates what a family is, making the notion of the classic ‘Friar Family’ ring true for me personally. The board has always been there for me [through] the ups and downs, and I cannot imagine my PC experience without BOP.”

Deciding on his double major in psychology and biology with the neuroscience certificate program is also personal to Fofanah. “I always knew I wanted to help people, specifically when it came to brain diseases and substance abuse. My grandmother has dementia, and seeing how she and my mother had to adapt to her declining mental ability and awareness was difficult,” he says. “Also, growing up in Lynn, MA, I’ve seen how substance abuse has broken families, with the conversation around addiction as a conscious choice, not a disease.” Fofanah is currently applying to graduate schools for programs in public health with a focus on substance abuse disorders. Eventually, he would like to go on to medical school to become a psychiatrist and work with those who struggle with substance abuse or neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. 

Fofanah is looking forward to making the most of what he has left of his college experience. He especially appreciates the more normal experience this semester has provided compared to previous semesters. “It is easy to say that we lost. I think the little moments mean so much more to me now: hanging out in Slavin, going to basketball games, even grabbing a meal in Alumni or Ray; it all makes life at PC refreshing at times when school or other activities feel overwhelming. This year being more normal really shows how being together on this campus makes it more alive.”

Looking back on his favorite memories here at the College, Fofanah says he is going to miss being an orientation leader the most next year. One of his favorite PC memories was being the orientation coordinator this year. “We recaptured the sense of orientation and welcoming new students at this year’s events, and being an OC didn’t feel like a position, but instead an opportunity to bring people together. Orientation is such an amazing experience that I’ll be sad to not be a part of next year.”

In reflecting on what PC has given him and the opportunities he has been able to take part in, Fofanah expressed nothing but gratitude. “Besides the clubs and organizations I’ve mentioned before, the person I am today was only possible because of the support and opportunities that Providence has provided for me on and off campus and still even virtually. Home is supposed to push you, to take those experiences, both good and bad, and make a positive impact not only in yourself and on those around you; PC offered me the opportunity to grow, and while it hasn’t always been perfect, it does leave you an experience you wouldn’t change a thing about.”


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