It’s a story of overcoming obstacles. One Berkeley County graduate grew up in foster care, but says it helped her to have a bright future in front of her. Starting at age 12, Qyamha Joshua jumped from foster home to foster home. Her mother was a drug addict, her father has severe dementia, and her step mother was in jail. She had no one to turn to but the Department of Social Services and somehow she beat the odds.
Joshua says, “You have to be really tough to get through this. Because foster care statistics, most of us, homeless, drugs, in jail, nowhere to go.”
Qyamha moved between group homes, not understanding why she couldn’t be with her family.
She says, “When I was there, I was terrible. I used to always think, okay, maybe if I do this I will get kicked out.”
Her biological mother would call begging for money.
Joshua says, “I would save my money just to send it to her and only for her to spend it on drugs. It was hurting me.”
Eventually, she hit rock bottom and took a bunch of pills to try and end it all.
She says, “In a way it was a cry for attention.”
Luckily, Qyamha made it through and was placed in her current foster mom’s care. She says they just clicked…
She says, “It feels good to feel wanted and loved, and at the end of the day to know that she’s there.”
…and sometimes attempting to keep biological families together isn’t what’s best for the child.
Joshua says, “If I would’ve stayed with my mother, it would not have been good at all. Looking at it now as an adult, if I would’ve stayed in that situation I would’ve been no more than what she is now.”
But Qyamha graduated high school, is going to college, and has big plans for the future.
She says, “I plan to attend USC Columbia and get my Masters in Sociology, social work, and I plan to be a social worker, and one day a supervisor, and then a coordinator, and then the Director of DSS so I can change things for the better.”
And she says it was all because she finally has someone, her foster mom, in her corner.
Joshua says, “I love her. I’m glad she pushed me. I’m really glad she pushed me. I’m really glad she took the time and I’m glad her family accepted me because I don’t know where I would be.”
Qyamha is heading into her sophomore year of college where she is making a name for herself. She has maintained a 3.9 GPA, joined the pep squad, is a student orientation leader, was nominated “Miss Sophomore”, and has earned multiple scholarships.