Samuel is currently studying Public Policy at UCLA, in the Luskin School of Public Affairs. Samuel graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in History and, seeking to push himself and serve others, moved to Hong Kong to join a human services group working primarily to assist people struggling with drug addiction. After several years in Hong Kong, Samuel was sent to work in Dimapur, India. During his time working in India, he reached out to his neighbors, many of whom were impoverished. After building relationships, he worked to identify local needs and mobilized resources to try to meet them. A number of those he met needed help navigating the government bureaucracy and the hospital system.
Making friends, it surprised Samuel how many migrants from other states such as Bihar and Assam lived in and around Dimapur, an urban center but not more than a few hundred thousand people. After conducting his own research and discovering how this phenomenon is not unique to India, he decided to return to the United States to acquire more professional training, focusing on the policies impacting the populations he has worked with.
As he looks forward, Samuel seeks to help people like those he met in Nagaland overcome the challenges preventing them from flourishing, particularly those associated with urbanization. The United Nations Urbanization Prospects report clearly tracks the unprecedented urbanization on every continent. This will of course come with many challenges, particularly for those moving from rural environments. Samuel hopes to take on some of the challenges and policies which prevent people from thriving in these environments. He seeks to do so in a way which combines both policy work and on the ground interaction, learning from those he wishes to assist, patiently listening to their concerns, and helping them overcome their challenges.