As double major in political science and philosophy and active student leader, Amanda Kuffoh used her experience at UMassD to develop a guiding philosophy based on social justice that will prepare her for a future law career.
Kuffoh transferred to UMassD in the spring of her first year, finding a better fit here culturally and allowing her to be closer to her family. She was immediately attracted to the diversity of the Corsair community. “My family is from Ghana, and I wanted a place that connected to my cultural interests,” Kuffoh said.
“I found my voice through social justice work and advocacy.” Kuffoh was drawn to participate in campus activities that connected to the topics and discussions in her courses, like Frederick Douglass Unity House and House of Deliberations
Kuffoh was motivated to be an advocate for students. She was elected as student trustee, becoming the first Black student to hold the position. “I ran for student trustee because I felt that it was the best way for me to make an impact on the things I wanted to address on campus,” she said. Kuffoh was committed to placing students at the forefront of discussions on topics that affected them. “I wanted to create culture where students felt heard, and were represented by someone they could trust.”
As student trustee, Kuffoh led efforts to reform policies to ensure equitable distribution of funds to student organizations. In a practical and diplomatic way, she brought the issues to administrators, resulting important financial policy changes for student clubs and organizations. “This was my job: to represent students’ needs at a higher level and help administrators understand the issues.”
That experience as student trustee united her studies with her personal commitment to social justice and advocacy. Her future career plans came into focus. While gaining a deeper understanding of the intricacies of finances within an organization and how policies are developed, she practiced navigating challenging situations and presenting at executive levels.
“I saw what my degree and career could look like in real life,” Kuffoh said. “I truly realized my capabilities, and felt empowered and honored to advocate for students.”
“I knew pushing for these policy changes was the right thing to do for the student community. I cared about the students who this affected and wanted to see their needs met with respect and equality. At that point, I knew this would be how I will carry myself in future career.”
Kuffoh is currently studying for LSAT and exploring law schools that fit with her social justice mission. She works as a paralegal at Greater Boston Legal Services, providing litigation advocacy and legal support for underrepresented populations. She is involved with the NAACP of New Bedford, working to further diversity and inclusion efforts in the local education system. Kuffoh is also a trustee for the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Museum Garden in New Bedford, where she implements diversity efforts and aids the finance committee in navigating the budgeting process.
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