Wildcat Tracks: Chris Sossou ’07
There are some people in this world who see a need and think about taking action. But then there are people who see that same need and decide to make a difference. Chris Sossou saw such a need in youth who were lacking mentorship in underserved areas.
“It is my passion to not only mentor young people, but to pair these young, disadvantaged youth with various professional mentors from diverse socio-economic backgrounds who might be willing to share their knowledge or experiences in order to help them become valuable contributors to our society,” Sossou said.
A graduate of Covenant College, Sossou is currently finishing up his internal medicine residency at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson-Newark Beth Israel. He says his time spent at Westminster had a definite impact on his life.
“My two and a half years at WCA were very memorable. The community embraced me as its own the very first day I stepped on campus,” Sossou said. “Dr. Aaron Belz was instrumental in getting me into WCA and has been one of my active mentors ever since. Mrs. Betty Richardson bought me my first suit; she is one of my biggest cheerleaders/prayer warriors. Dr. Larry Hughes’ Biblical Ethics class was one of my favorite classes in high school. His teaching is still a part of my daily life. Mr. Knerr is not only the best history teacher, he is one of the best people I know! He and his wife were very instrumental in my personal and professional development.”
Sossou is the CEO and founder of the Young Citizen Mentorship Program (YCMP) based in New Jersey. “My passion to serve others and keen interest in the social detriments of health and health literacy led to the formation of this program,” he said. “I want to empower these youth (ages 13-24) through personalized mentorship so they can become agents of change in their own communities.”
And it’s working! One recent mentee graduated from college and is now a Health Extension Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia. “To me, having a mentor is like having a wonderful trusted ally to go to whenever you are feeling unsure or in need of support. Mentors can help one set and achieve career goals, make smart business decisions, overcome school/workplace challenges, and learn new skills—or they can simply offer an outside perspective when one is facing career or life frustrations.”
With a passion for finding a need and diving right in, Sossou is a wonderful example of showing Christ’s love to others. He realizes that youth with a need for adult role models is not just a local problem, but one that affects communities in every state.
“It is my dream and hope that YCMP will become a national program, serving the underserved population where ever they may be.”
Learn more about YCMP.
This alumni spotlight was originally featured in the November 2019 issue of our alumni newsletter, Wildcat Tracks.