Humans of Santa Clara: Ahira Foster ’23
“I’m 25, so I’m older than most of the undergrads. I’m transferring in from Diablo Valley College where I got my associate degree in communication studies. I’m also majoring in communications at Santa Clara with plans to go to law school. In all honesty, my route to Santa Clara was unconventional. I visited the university when I was 14 during a high school trip and I felt like this was home. What I remember most was the students were extremely approachable, genuine, and authentic. I felt that’s what SCU was about. Even going to basketball games here felt like home—I’d look around at the student section and people attending the game, and I knew one day I wanted to be a part of this. But I didn’t apply right after high school because I didn’t have the grades. I started at a junior college in San Diego where my brother Yavan was living, to get a feel for what it was like to live away from home. After a year, I realized San Diego was not where I wanted to be, so I moved back to San Leandro and instead of going to school, I wanted to get work experience. I did several paid internships, and then worked while attending DVC. I worked for a construction technology firm, I taught financial literacy and entrepreneurship at a non-profit, and later to high school and middle school students. I also started a digital media company with a friend; it’s called A-Game Media. We have seasonal podcasts on Apple and Spotify where we talk to experts about how to do your best in anything you do, whether it’s sports, business, entertainment or technology. Even though it was a long time since I started working in 2015, it was character building for me. But Santa Clara was always my dream school, and I applied and was accepted in April. I’m moving into Casa Italiana, where I’ve got three roommates. I’ve signed up for the boxing club. I brought my posters of Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, and Obama. I’m Black and Mexican-American, and it gives me pride and hope to see educated Black men up there. It reminds me I have to do the same—by any means necessary. I’ve also got a picture of me on my first birthday, and a wooden sea turtle my mom gave me. I’m truly excited for this next phase of my life; I’ve waited a long time for this. I know I have my whole family behind me. My 89-year-old grandmother drove here today with my mom and my brother. She says this is a great opportunity for me and she’s excited to see what type of man I will become. I’m confident about where I’m going right now, and everything that led me here has given the emotional maturity to handle myself. This is finally my time to get a college experience.”
Sep 18, 2021
SCU transfer student Ahira Foster ’23 poses with his mother Cecilia Gaines outside Casa Italiana on move-in day.