As a child growing up in Gambia, in West Africa, Muhammed Sumbundu, class of 2013, used to watch influential American political figures on CNN. Today, as a political science major at Buffalo State, he watches them in person. Tomorrow, he plans to be one.
Since immigrating to the United States in 2004, the outgoing Sumbundu has dedicated himself to one goal: representing people as a democratically elected official.
He's off to a good start. On International Youth Day in 2006, Sumbundu was chosen to speak at the United Nations on behalf of the International YMCA of New York City. That experience led him to work with the New York City Council, which has brought him face-to-face with many of the major players in New York State politics, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"I always take the opportunity to meet people and network. That's very important to me. When you open yourself up to others, they respond," said Sumbundu. "No matter where you go around the globe, there's always an opportunity to bring people together and work toward a common goal."
On campus, Sumbundu serves as a student assistant in the President's Office, the student representative for the Buffalo State College Council, an educational Opportunity Program (EOP) mentor, a resident assistant, and a team leader for the University Police Student Assistants. Sumbundu was accepted to the Ross B. Kenzie Scholars program, which fosters leadership as well as academic achievement. He's also one of the faces of Buffalo State’s new brand campaign, Because of Buffalo State.
"Because of Buffalo State," said Sumbundu, who plans to go to law school, “I feel my future is very bright."