Dumebi Uba

Carla Balvaneda, Editor

Dumebi Uba is a junior at Ontario High School. She is involved in Bright Prospect, track, cross country, AVID, and National Honor Society, but before her life at OHS, she was a young girl living in Nigeria.

When she first came to the United States, Uba was told she was going on vacation. Little did she know, she would be leaving her life, friends, family, and home  in order to seek better educational opportunities.

Arriving to the United States would forever alter Uba’s life as she would encounter various struggles. In the airport in California, she could already sense a culture shock. The clothing people wore was different and she noticed a distinct social change, especially in the way women behaved.

Accustomed to speaking various languages; including French, Igbo, and English; communication would not be a challenge, but rather a way to stay connected to her previous life.

Though many Ontario High School students consider the campus to be  diverse, Uba felt like an outcast as she represents a minority even in this community as it is predominately Hispanic.

Uba learned to find comfort in her religion as it represented one of the only consistent aspects of her new life. In her church, she volunteers in order to interact with others and even years after moving, it keeps her connected with what she refers to as “home.”

“Home is my family,” says Uba as she misses Nigeria and those who gave her comfort there: her mother, relatives, and close friends.

Especially because her father and grandma requests that she does so, Uba continues to speak her native language Igbo. She attends Nigerian parties where she is able to embrace her culture through traditional dishes, including Garri and Ofe Akwu, and traditional attire.

Even though being away from her childhood friends and some immediate family members is difficult, Uba claims that she is able to conquer distance. Her experiences only make her stronger and motivate her to continue to push herself.

Ultimately, Uba hopes to attend Stanford due to their cardiology program.

“Stanford represents opportunity,” says Uba, reminiscing about her struggles and how her successes will symbolize that all of her sacrifices were worth it.

Like many, Uba’s greatest fear is failing. However, not everyone had to fly over 6,000 miles and leave their homes for the hope of succeeding.

Dumebi Uba is a warrior. Dumebi Uba is OHS.