Seniors to Remember: Rui Soares
Hometown: Bayonne, NJ
Major: Psychology, pre-med
Notable activities: Tutor, 4Boston program; translator for non-Spanish-speaking doctors; director of social justice, Residence Hall Association; director, Multicultural Leadership Experience; varsity sports cheerleader; member, Organization of Latin American Affairs (OLAA); Dean’s List every semester; winner, 2012 Archbishop Oscar A. Romero Scholarship.
Post-graduation Plans: A two-year commitment to Teach for America, followed by medical school.
Overview: Soares exemplifies success in making it out of what he calls “a rough life.” Born into limited resources, Soares says his hard-working immigrant parents are an inspiration. His efforts to lead school-wide programs for awareness of different social injustices were rewarded last year when he received the prestigious Archbishop Oscar A. Romero Scholarship, recognizing a BC junior who best personifies the ideals and values of Archbishop Romero, an activist for the poor. This first-generation college student conducts clinical research on lymphoma in mice and plans on becoming a doctor in the Latino community.
Talk about some of the work you did with the Residence Hall Association and the Multicultural Leadership Experience.
I made an effort to create campus-wide programs and panel discussions each semester focusing on social issues such as racial discrimination, sexual orientation, sexual identity, and educational issues like educational reform, teacher status, and the achievement gap. I truly want to continue this work as I go into my future endeavors.
Who has had the most profound influence during your time at Boston College?
I would say my professors, definitely. [Associate Professor] John McDargh in the Theology Department: His class opened my eyes to having an open mind and living a better way of life. Professor David McFadden in the Chemistry Department: He’s just been a great influence — just pushing me to keep going, do better, and step it up. Also, [Adjunct Assistant Professor] Joseph Burdo in the Biology Department: He’s been a really great guy. He’s one of the youngest professors so I really connect with him a lot on different issues.
How do you think your activities influenced your four years at BC?
Without my activities, I don’t think I would be the person that I am today – so ready to go, ready to conquer life, having the skills and tools to really achieve anything. It’s added to the confidence level that I have – 100 percent. I’ve been through it all, and I’m ready to tackle anything.
What do you think you’ll miss the most about Boston College?
Definitely my roommates. I’ve had four years with them, and they’re my best friends: Michael Lopes, Sam Broadhurst, Justin Latona, Anthony Cusano, John Doherty and Matt Pare. These guys I’ve experienced everything with, all the ups and down of school. It’s been such a great road with these guys. I’m also going to miss my other campus friends and seeing familiar faces. Not being able to see like a hundred kids that you know a day, it’s going to be very difficult and very different.
What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?
Just get involved. Seriously. There’s so many clubs and organizations at BC you can really be a part of. You don’t have to do 20 clubs, but find the right thing because it’s going to make your four years much more fulfilling. It goes by really fast. Don’t let anybody tell you “no” to achieving some of the things you want to achieve in college. Keep an open mind and keep the drive.