Meet Your Neighbor: Sadeka Carby

When I was eight years old, my mom and I left Jamaica to move to Queens. I was so quiet when I started school here. People would tell me to speak up, but it was hard for me. I joined QCH’s afterschool program at The Young Women’s Leadership School (TYWLS) when I was ten, and six years later I can look back and appreciate just how much the program helped me find my voice.

At TYWLS I was involved in cooking, dancing and learning to build robots, among tons of other activities. The staff became like family. They always took an interest in my life and pushed me out of my comfort zone. As a Counselor in Training now, I always look out for the shy girls in the group. I help them feel like they have a friend.

As a sixteen year old, I’m a self-taught artist who loves dancing, volleyball and outer space. When I was younger, I felt like I was different and that made me shy. Now, I know I am different and that gives me confidence. I am a one of a kind. When I graduate, I want to go to the Fashion Institute of Technology and become the only interior designer who watches Bob Ross videos, loves aliens, hails from Jamaica, and can dance and sing with the best of them. I’m still soft-spoken, but soft-spoken doesn’t mean shy to me anymore: it's how I express myself. It’s who I am. I’m funny, which I get from my dad, and I’m happy, which I’ve learned is more important than anything else.

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