Coe student leader using internship and campus support programs to fuel determination to open her own private practice

Sofia DavisWhen Sofia Davis ’25 stepped into a newborn intensive care unit (NICU) in high school, she was the one who felt swaddled by the warmth of compassion she witnessed. The parents of children no longer hospitalized in the NICU doted on parents that were experiencing the anxiety of having their child in critical care. Sofia was volunteering at a NICU family event after her mom, a nurse in the unit, invited her to help. 

“It was amazing. My parents always taught me to give back,” she said. 

The life-changing experience steered Sofia towards a career as a psychologist, as she knew she wanted to dedicate her life to serving others. As a rising sophomore at Coe College majoring in psychology, the aspiring doctor is the administrative intern for Lion’s Pride over the summer. The nonprofit organization fosters student empowerment by training exceptional high school upper-level student leaders to mentor incoming first-year students in Chicago schools. 

Sofia’s ultimate goal is to run her own private practice. She is eager to spend her summer immersed in real world experience. Sofia was a student mentor with Lion’s Pride during her time at UIC College Prep and now receives their newsletter. She spotted an advertisement for the internship and was called for an interview within hours of submitting the application. 

It was clear Sofia was the perfect fit. She plans to specialize in developmental psychology and work with adolescents experiencing trauma in her future practice. 

“I wanted to be a mentor [in high school] because other people supported me when I was going through school. I wanted to be that person for someone else,” she said. “There’s always someone who could use extra guidance and a friend with some experience.”

There’s no shortage of sources for guidance at Coe with initiatives like the Office of Student Success and Persistence that cultivate a network of near-peer support for students through graduation. 

The TRIO Academic Achievement Program and Learning Commons are conveniently located in Stewart Memorial Library to offer students special services like a writing center and tutoring. While C3: Creativity, Careers, Community fosters relationships with alumni and employers around the world to connect students to internship, job and volunteer opportunities. C3 is so effective, Coe is currently ranked as #10 among private colleges in the nation for internships by The Princeton Review. 

For Sofia, it was joining the Coehort Mentor Program when she committed to Coe in April 2021. The Coehort Mentor Program connects students from underrepresented groups with student leaders on campus. Student mentor Sylvia Love ’24 reached out to Sofia before the fall term began. Between coffee dates and homework sessions, the two have quickly become good friends. 

“She feels like my older sister. She helps me make goals for myself. She once wrote me a letter and stuck it under my door while I was in class. She said the most wonderful things that gave me a boost of confidence. She always makes time for me. I appreciate it 1000 percent,” she laughed. 

In the classroom, Sofia looks up to Assistant Professor of Education and African American Studies Christopher Johnson. Her first class with him was First-Year Seminar, a course designed to help Coe students transition to the college classroom. 

“He is a phenomenal professor. You can tell he is passionate about teaching. It shows through his work and what he teaches,” she said. 

During the academic year, Sofia works in the Office of Student Life where she helps support fellow Kohawks answering questions and directing them to the appropriate staff. 

Experience the support systems at Coe firsthand, schedule an in-person or virtual campus visit to meet with faculty and staff leading support resources at Coe, go to

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