I Choose Memphis: Gabriel Fotsing

By March 9, 2015Alumni

“I Choose Memphis” spotlights Memphians who are passionate about calling this community home. New Memphis Institute provides the profiles. See the original article


Job title and company: Founder and CEO, The College Initiative

Length of time living in Memphis: 1.5 years

Life history: Gabriel is originally from Douala, Cameroon. He came to the United States in 2000 and attended public high school in Houston. He later received a B.A. from Harvard University where he studied Economics and French. Upon graduation, Gabriel joined Teach For America and was placed in the Mississippi Delta where he taught French, Physical Science, and AP Biology at Lee Senior High School in Marianna, Ark. Now, he is responsible for the overall strategic direction of The College Initiative, and plays a singular role in its development and partnership management activities.

What can you find in Memphis that you can’t find anywhere else? The people in Memphis have a certain rare quality of combining passion and conviction in everything that they do, and it is absolutely contagious.

What would be your ideal Saturday in Memphis? My ideal Memphis Saturday would include reading a book at Tamp and Tap during the day followed by a fun evening of dinner and drinks with friends, and ending the night at Raiford’s.

What is your favorite local festival? Memphis in May International Festival is my favorite local festival.

What is your favorite local restaurant? The Bar-B-Q Shop is my favorite local restaurant.

Favorite Memphis personality? My favorite Memphis personality is Zach Randolph, or ‘Z-Bo’. He embodies the traits I most admire about Memphis — hardworking, determined, and humble.