Mamadou Balde is a Chemical Engineer, Pre-Med major and was a walk-on kicker in the NCAA Football team at the University Of Texas At Austin. He is also a scholar of Gate Millennium and Terry foundations. He was originally born in Guinea and came to the United States at the age of 12.
Click on picture above to see a video Mamadou made about who he is and his sports experiences
Q: Why did you choose the major you did?
A: “I became a chemical engineer major because I really liked solving problems. When I was little, I loved riddles. But then two semesters later, I decided that I wanted to be a doctor. My dad is a doctor in Guinea, and in Guinea, you’re a doctor not for the money, but because you want to save lives. If I’m helping others and others are happy, then I’m happy.”
Q: What inspires you?
A: “I was sent here alone by my family when I was 12 for a better education. When I give up so much, I do everything I can to be successful. I didn’t come here to fail.”
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: “I’m passionate about solving problems and helping people. I want to impact lives. At the end of each day, I want to see that I’ve done something – I want to make a difference or to have made someone smile.”
Q: What do you outside of class?
A: “I play club and intramural soccer. I also started a motivational speaking organization as a freshman. We have been expanding and trying to do community service as well. Like, we’re starting a mentorship program in a San Marcos school and trying to go weekly.”
Q: How do you balance and prioritize everything you do?
A: “Organization is key. When you’re so busy, I believe you can’t have fun until you’re organized and know what you want to accomplish. I was working on my to-do list before this interview. And I wake up every day with a purpose. I can’t succeed without being prepared.”
Q: How do you stay fit?
A: “I spent at least 2 hours in the gym every day freshmen and sophomore year. But now the class load is heavier so I try to go three times a week. If I think of it like a class, then I will be more consistent with it. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I lift weights and Tuesday and Sunday, I play a lot of soccer or run. And I think football is really fun.”
Q: Why do you like football?
A: “I noticed the discipline of football. In Guinea, playing was for fun, but here it is a lot more organized. I liked the leadership in the team and I want to try out for football again soon. But for now, I just play soccer, which I have played my whole life. I encourage my teammates in club soccer and tell them they just have to believe and have heart!”
Q: What’s your diet like?
A: “I made a decision to not eat on campus, so I go to the grocery store and buy my foods. I cook a lot of African dishes and I try to balance those out. For example, when I make Chicken & Sauce, I don’t use too much oil.”
Q: Do you have any advice for people who are looking to get fit?
A: “Consult, Plan, and Commit. Consult someone who knows what you need, plan for the future and then commit to it with your heart.”
~Written by Jenny Xu