Ericka is a sixteen year old girl who has been with Kaya Children for over two years. She was one of the first girls to come to Kaya when we opened the doors to the Kaya Center. Back then, she was at high risk of becoming a full-time street child because she was constantly leaving home to work, effectively dropping out of school for many years. Since she started coming to Kaya, she has been able to regularly attend school. She is now in the seventh grade. Even though she is still currently three school years behind her peers of the same age, her hard work and dedication have allowed her to experience great academic achievement.
Ericka is also studying under a program called CEMA, which allows students to take a two-year management course. She is working towards becoming a hairdresser, attending classes at the Berlin Institute in which she learns different techniques for braiding and cutting hair. She practices these skills – mostly just the hair braiding – with her friends at Kaya. The girls love having Ericka try out new hair styles on them! Ericka is very happy with this opportunity and hopes to work in a beauty salon in a few years.
Ericka attended these classes at the Berlin Institute for three hours every morning for the past three months. She graduates from the program in a couple weeks and looks forward to also specializing in makeup and nails. She continues to attend school in the afternoons. Even though she is excited at the prospect of working once she is licensed as a hairdresser, she plans on staying in school until she graduates from high school.
In her free time, Ericka loves to listen to music! She likes romantic music, and her favorite singer is Pipe El Calderón. She also enjoys playing soccer and supports the team Bolivar, a national club soccer team. Ericka is a wonderful girl, with an outgoing and cheerful character, which brings a smile to all her friends faces.