Religious Studies majorCranston, RI
Sophia Petrou didn’t need much convincing to come to Hellenic College. “My godparents are alums, my aunt and uncle actually met here as students, and four other relatives came here too. They all had positive experiences.” Also, Sophia knew HCHC firsthand, having attended the CrossRoad Summer Institute while in high school. “There were many life realizations and a great deal of spiritual maturation during my time on campus for CrossRoad. Those ten days contributed a lot to my decision to come here.”
Sophia is majoring in Religious Studies with a minor in Ancient Greek. Asked to name a favorite professor, she replies, “I honestly cannot pick one! All my professors have guided and helped me, each in a unique way, and offered insights that could not have come from anyone else. You’re able to build connections and friendships with faculty here that would be impossible at schools with thousands of students.”
The academic life at Hellenic is enhanced for Sophia by the rich worship life that permeates the experience of being a student at HCHC. “This is a place where a lot of spiritual growth can occur. You can attend services every day with beautiful Byzantine chanting you won’t hear in many other places in the US, let alone in a college setting.”
Between attending classes and services and studying, Sophia could easily spend all of her time on campus, but her love of Christ and HCHC’s unique place in higher education often take her out into the world beyond Brookline. For example, she is in her third year of working as an Ambassador for the Admissions Office. Ambassadors are carefully selected HCHC students who travel to parishes around the country to assist with youth ministry and raise awareness of our school. “I absolutely love it,” she says. “I love seeing how diverse the parishes are and interacting with young people as a representative of the school.”
Another meaningful off-campus activity for Sophia was volunteering last year at a local Orthodox church’s soup kitchen. “It was the most powerful, hands-on experience of serving the community, my brothers and sisters in Christ,” she recalls. “It is a memory I always carry with me.”
After she graduates from Hellenic College, Sophia plans to apply to the Master of Divinity program at Holy Cross and hopes to intern with either the Admissions Office or the Office of Vocation and Ministry. In whatever future role she plays, Sophia will remain closely connected to the school she loves.