Samba Soumare ’24 on creative immersion and innovation

photo of a young man in a suit

Samba Soumare ’24, a Maxwell student majoring in international relations, has a superpower. It is the unique skill of being able to immerse himself in various cultures, whether it be a French or American linguistic context. Language is a tool to understand, a bridge between people. Traveling through Mali, Senegal, Greece, and India, while calling Brooklyn home, equipped him with the tools to understand the experiences of people in these regions on a more personal level. Being analytical and having cultural humility opened his eyes to the fact that we are dependent on each other which can lead to great human flourishing or disaster.  His linguistic, cultural, and analytical skills have allowed him to understand contemporary international affairs.

One interesting area of the international realm is the growing investment of China in foreign countries into foreign projects, more specifically infrastructure and land development. It is evident in Ethiopia, one of his home countries’ neighbors, that the Chinese government is expanding its influence into Africa. The international realm is growing ever complex and as a result is a dynamic landscape. This context is the reason he would like to be a diplomat at the United Nations. The growing connectedness of our world through the digital space and growth of children being able to speak multiple languages creates the context for globalism to grow.

As a diplomat, he wants to play a role at the government level.

Mentors help with constructive feedback and help building interpersonal skills. A trusting and honest mentorship relationship provides transparent feedback. It aims to stimulate growth by identifying weaknesses and advising them on ways to improve. Interactions with mentors serve as a medium to build communication such as active listening. Empathy and the greatest virtue which is patience. These skills have allowed me to collaborate more effectively. A creative collaborative community is a great way to meet other students considering emerging ideas and enterprises and gain a more informed perspective.

A new Zaccai Foundation Fellow at the LaunchPad, working with the Intelligence ++ program,  he was referred by a fellow LaunchPad student team member Brandon Henry. With a background and empathy for working with young adults with disabilities, he brings both skills and compassion to his new role as a peer mentor.

“My entrepreneurial strength aspect isn’t necessarily the ideas or project I have thought of, but instead my adaptive nature in dialogue,” says Soumare. “I wouldn’t consider myself an extrovert however I have the ability to find common ground with many people who might be completely different from me.”

Story by Brandon Henry ’24; photo supplied