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Student Profile: Winfred Sarpong '24

Meet Winfred Sarpong '24! Winfred is a boarding student from Alliston, Ontario and is in his second year at Rabun Gap. Winfred enjoys the community that comes with being a boarding student and is thankful for the support he has received from his coaches and teachers. He is a member of our back-to-back state championship soccer team, in the choir, manages our girls varsity soccer team, and takes many honors and AP classes. 

Why did you choose to attend Rabun Gap?
I chose to attend Rabun Gap initially because of the soccer team that was developing here but as time got closer and closer to the first day, the idea of going to a boarding school away from home seemed like a good idea to advance my academic and athletic career.
What makes Rabun Gap special to you?
Something that makes Rabun Gap special to me is it being the first high-school that I've been at for more than two years. It may not be a lot, but skipping from place to place and trying to make new friends each time you move is difficult. Rabun Gap was the place where I got to be comfortable without the thought of having to leave the next year. That makes it have a special place in my heart.
Tell us about a time at Rabun Gap where you’ve had to stretch beyond your comfort zone and how you were supported in that time. 
A time where I've been stretched outside my comfort zone is joining choir this year. I never really had any interest in singing until I took one of Ms. Allegra’s classes and she somehow convinced me to come to a choir practice and ever since then I haven't missed a practice. At first I didn’t really feel comfortable with it but as time went on, I began to feel more comfortable because of the people around me encouraging me to keep going.
What is your favorite memory from Rabun Gap?
I have a lot of good memories at here but my favourite would probably be winning the soccer state championship for the second time in a row. I feel like winning it a second time and playing in a more crucial part of the team made me feel like I've worked hard enough to deserve another one and felt a lot better to win it the second time around too. Everyone who came to support us were happy to see us win again and that really adds to why it’s my favourite Rabun Gap memory.
What clubs and extracurriculars are you a part of? What do you like most about them?
I’m a part of the boys varsity soccer team, choir and also manage the girls soccer team. One thing I enjoy about the boys soccer team is just playing soccer with guys that I enjoy being around and having fun. One thing I enjoy about choir is being able to try something new and having fun while doing it. Managing girls soccer is probably one of the most fun programs I’ve been apart of because there’s always good energy being spread around the team and also seeing them get better and better every year. 
What was the most exciting soccer game for you and why?
The most exciting soccer game I've been a part of is probably Wesleyan away when we beat them 2-1. I think the excitement came because that was the game where I came back from my injury and of how good we were playing all game. Even the general atmosphere at Wesleyan was fun to be at. I remember the girls volleyball team after beating Wesleyan, coming to outcheer the home fans and pushing us to get that golden goal in overtime which I ended up getting.
What is your favorite class and why?
My favourite class is probably French 3H because of what goes on in that class. Every class there’s always something going on whether it’s singing the most random French songs that Mme Shook can find or the worksheets she claims are fun and makes us do it with a smile on our face.
Which Rabun Gap teachers and/or coaches have had the biggest impact on you during your time here?
There’s two coaches that have had the biggest impact on my time here and they are Coach Brown and Coach Wiese. The two of them were both my soccer coaches but also kept me in check with all my school work making sure I'm balancing between academics and athletics. Coach Brown initially helped me get settled into Rabun Gap and Coach Wiese continued to make himself a comfortable person to come and talk to if anything is going wrong.
What do you enjoy most about being a boarding student?
My favourite part of being a boarding student is being able to see my friends everyday. I think it’s every kid's dream to be with their friends 24/7 and as a boarding student, I can do that. I see these guys everyday for the whole school year making them like my siblings away from home.
What advice would you give another student who is interested in attending Rabun Gap? 
Not to be scared to try anything new at Rabun Gap because there’s only so much you can do in 4 years so don’t limit yourself to things in your comfort zone and try new things out.
How do you feel your time at Rabun Gap has prepared you for your future?
There’s countless things Rabun Gap has prepared me for but something that I didn't think was possible was learning how to live by myself. Knowing that I have to set rules and to keep myself in check is helping me to get ready for when I'm older and truly have to do things for myself.
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is a private, coeducational day and boarding school for grades Pre-K through 12. Centrally located between Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC, we prepare young people for college, career, and a lifetime of leadership and service.