Beyond Emancipation

Sahiba

From the time she was a little girl, Sahiba has wanted to help people around the world.

She started by helping those closest to her. When Sahiba was six, her grandmother became disabled while caring for Sahiba and her siblings.  So at a very young age she took on some of the responsibilities of raising her younger siblings as well as helping her grandmother around the house.

sahibacropped“Because I didn’t lead a ‘normal’ life, I wasn’t really a shining star in school,” says Sahiba, now 21. Her mother was in and out of her life, and Sahiba recalls frequent interactions with Child Protective Services. It was difficult for her to focus in school.

When she was 17, Sahiba and her siblings were removed from their home and placed in kinship foster care with their aunt, whom she refers to as a very important person in her life. She has focused like a laser on her goals ever since.  B:E’s b2b is there to support her every step of the way.

Sahiba will graduate in June with an AA in science from Laney College, and aims to transfer to the nursing program at San Francisco State in the fall.

She loves B:E’s coaching model, noting that b2b Program Coordinator Shanina supports her in laying out her own plan rather than handing her a plan to follow. “Shanina will say, ‘We’re going to plan this together—you’re going to tell me, I’m not going to tell you.’”

“Shanina is such a supportive person,” Sahiba says, “and has such a bright spirit—when you see her, you just automatically feel good. She makes sure we don’t give up by helping us and giving us clues as we come up with our own plans. That’s really smart because we’re not going to have someone there all the time to tell us what to do.”

Sahiba knows exactly what she wants to do with her nursing degree: help people around the world.  She plans to work for the global children’s rights organization UNICEF, which she became interested in after reading about her favorite actress Audrey Hepburn’s involvement with the organization.

“My childhood was a little rough,” says Sahiba.  “So I feel like being a nurse will be a good way for me to heal, too.”

When she’s not working or going to school, Sahiba likes to read, write, and spend time with friends and family.

Asked what advice she would give a young person experiencing foster care, Sahiba says: “Work really hard.  And when someone tells you that you can’t do something, don’t listen to them!”

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