SDYS Voices

SDYS Voices: Ikemba


Meet Ikemba, a foster youth set to graduate from high school in June and head to college with the help of our Independent Living Skills (ILS) program.

“I grew up in Jamaica. I saw how the people around me and my family lived. That environment encouraged me to seek a higher education. I want a higher education because I want it to put me in a better position in life. I want a higher paying job. I also want to be more educated for just me, myself. Also why not get a higher education? My support systems have encouraged me, and fueled my fire to go to college.  People like my EXCEL coach, ILS case manager, my football team, my sister and more have all supported me.

I am planning to go to SDSU this upcoming fall with an ‘Undeclared’ Major. I chose SDSU because it is close to home and it’s a good school. I want to play football for them too and have connections there. I am excited about learning new cultures and people, Greek life, and new experiences. I am not looking forward to math classes.

When I graduate I want to be able to know that all my hard work was worth it. I want to be happy knowing I finished college.

Tips I would give youth like me are: Stay focused on your future. Just attack whatever you want to do. Stay focused. Consider not just yourself. Think about your future children and family members/spouse. You can be OK by yourself with a job, but you won’t be able to take care of others. Don’t be selfish. We started low as foster kids mentally, physically and more, so grab any opportunity and advantages you can get as foster kids.”