RARE  RISINGSTARS 2013 The UK’s Top 10 Black Students
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No. 2

 

Richard Serunjogi

BSc Social Policy
London School of Economics
Charity and Community Activism
Richard Serunjogi


When Richard Serunjogi stood against 16 other candidates for a position on the London School of Economics Court of Governors, he was vying to become the first ever first year student to be elected to this position. Not only did Richard win, but he won in a landslide, gaining over 20% of all votes cast.

Richard’s campaign promised to provide third sector work experience opportunities for students at the LSE, a proposition which looks likely to be implemented in the space of a few months by a newly created fund set up to support third sector interns.

Prior to commencing his studies at the LSE, Richard had been an active figure in his local community. Richard’s first position of note came as Youth MP for the London borough of Croydon, a role that required him to discuss issues on young people and crime. For all would‑be event organisers, Richard recalls that he only attended the meeting because of the promise of free food!

Food was also the subject of a book that Richard published with a team of students from Sixth Forms across Croydon and Sutton, the celebrity endorsed IncrEdible Cook Book, which recommended tasty and healthy meals for children and their parents.

“During my gap years, I had time to pause and think ‘what can I do to change things?’ I realised that we’re all powerful and can all influence things once we stand up and claim power. Once we realise the power we have, we have a responsibility to use it.”

These formative experiences of activism and leadership were further developed during the two years Richard took between the end of A levels and the start of his degree. Richard used this time wisely, becoming co‑chair of the National Participation Forum and the Head of Third Sector and Faith Groups for Oona King’s 2010 Labour Party mayoral campaign, where he also wrote the campaign’s policy for youth crime issues.

Later that year, Richard became the youngest ever recipient of the Churchill Fellowship, awarded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, which allowed him to travel to Uganda and produce a report on disabled children in sub‑Saharan Africa. Richard also became a project manager for the Spirit of London Awards, which celebrates the achievements of young people from all over London who are champions of their local communities. In his position as Project Manager, Richard devised a partnership programme to bring together all third sector organisations involved with the awards.

“You learn a lot about a society by the way it treats its least well off.”

Richard’s credentials have also been spotted by Google, who identified him as one of the twelve brightest young minds from across the globe. Richard was invited to attend the Google Zeitgeist conference along with a raft of global political, business and academy leaders.

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