ISF Student / Yosef R.
Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA
Attending school: San Diego State University
“All the difficult years have made me a stronger person” says this incredible young man from Ethiopia.
Yosef, having lost his mother when he was two, looked up to his father who worked hard to support his three children and encouraged Yosef to pay attention and always do his best. Sadly, his father succumbed to an illness when Yosef was eight and he was placed in an orphanage.
Two continents, two languages, three oceans, six families and nine homes later, he has become a man in the true sense of the word in spite of his young age and the very difficult path he has had to endure, including molestation and abuse in former foster homes. Today Yosef and his older brother have a wonderful, supportive relationship with their foster mother, Erika.
Soccer has become his outlet and his strength. In the Olympic development program, he practiced soccer three hours a day, six days a week then studied three to four hours each evening and maintains a 3.5 GPA. He has won two SCCAL Championship titles and has been on the honor roll five times. He also finds time to volunteer with the Boys &Girls Club and with Adoption Advocate International.
He is resilient, goal-oriented and determined to succeed, yet remains realistic, humble and appreciative, not realizing how special a person he is to have survived so much adversity and come out on top.
Yosef has been accepted into San Diego state for Business. Upon graduation, he plans to study corporate law with an emphasis on identity theft. His ultimate goal is to have his own large family, be a wonderful father and of course to continue playing soccer.