Andrew Goba ’09, ’12 – Fast Break from South Africa
STONY BROOK, NY, March 5, 2013 – Growing up in a poverty-stricken village in South Africa, Lesego Andrew Goba, 27, never imagined that his journey to the United States and eight years at Stony Brook University — which began in 2005 with an athletic scholarship — would be life-altering. A former Stony Brook Seawolves Men’s Basketball star, the 6-foot-9-inch, 245-pound Goba hopes to reach new heights, not on the basketball court but at Stony Brook University Hospital, where he recently secured a full-time nursing position in the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP).
It is in CPEP that he reflects on the lessons of his early life to help those suffering from mental health disorders.
“The mental toughness and discipline I learned from my coaches helps me in nursing, and basketball taught me how to still function at an optimal level under stressful and exhausting situations,” said Goba, who said that being part of a healthcare team and working for the benefit of the patient is similar to being part of a basketball team striving toward winning a game.
For Goba, working in CPEP has taught him a lot about psychiatric nursing and the comprehensive services those patients need.
“I learned early on in life that when you do not have much and are faced with difficult challenges, the state of your mental health will determine the state of your quality of life; because, profoundly, how you perceive those challenges shapes your decisions, which eventually determines the experiences you have,” he said. “Every day I have the opportunity to assist people and enhance their quality of life by improving their mental health.”
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