Dorsainville ’12 Moves Forward with a Heart for Service

By schwartzsa | April 4, 2012

International Studies major Stanley Dorsainville ’12 has accomplished a great deal during his four years at Arcadia. In addition to participating in Arcadia’s First Year Study Abroad Experience (FYSAE) in London, he’s served as a defender on Men’s Lacrosse Club team, Manager of the Men’s Basketball team, volunteer Assistant Coach for the Cheltenham High School freshman football team, undergraduate assistant to the Provost’s Office and founding member of Arcadia’s chapter of IMPACT (Intelligent Men-of-Color Purposefully Accomplishing College Together). He approaches life with a focused mission: “Connect with others to bring empowerment to a new world.”

It’s an impressive résumé, no doubt, but Dorsainville’s accomplishments are even more exemplary considering his past. At just four months old he suffered a stroke. Now he speaks about his experiences with the hope of creating more awareness for stroke victims.

Dorsainville is an accomplished athlete on Arcadia’s Lacrosse field—you’d never know that he has had to put in extra effort to strengthen his upper body, one of the few side effects of his early condition. Recovery has been a little rocky for Dorsainville at times, but he credits physical therapy, friends and loved ones for his success.

He’s worked closely with Head Lacrosse Coach Andrew Delaney, as well as Todd Barnes, the Strength and Conditioning Coach and Fitness Director, who have helped him adjust and modify the Lacrosse team’s workouts to specifically address his needs. “It has definitely helped,” says Dorsainville of his training sessions. “I’m stronger, more fit and just knowing that there is someone who is familiar with my specific condition and knows how to work with me is so helpful. They’ve always been there.”

In addition to his accomplishments on the field and the sidelines, he’s also civically engaged. During the summer of 2009, Dorsainville completed an internship in U.S. Representative Eliot Engel’s 17th District office, in New York state, working in constituent services. As part of his duties, he was able to apply his multilingual skills, serving as a translator to Haitian immigrants with limited English skills. He is fluent in English and Haitian Creole and proficient in French and Japanese.

Leading by example, Dorsainville hopes to inspire and instill a culture of understanding with his peers and fellow aspiring professionals. “This is about more than just myself,” he says. “There is very little coverage or understanding of young adults with [my] experiences, and I would like to be an example of these people.”

“When I smile now, it’s not because I’m forcing it,” he says. “I’m happy. I want people to realize, ‘Hey, there are people like me’…. It’s just [a] great feeling.” Dorsainville has big plans for the future, with the hopes of working in South East Asia, either as an ESL teacher in Korea or an intercultural consultant in Japan, helping businesses understand their foreign customers. Regardless of what he decides, it’s clear that the future will be bright.