WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A sophomore at Kelloggsville High School splits his time between focusing on school and missing his family, most of whom are an ocean away.

Prince Baraka is from Rwanda. His mom, two brothers and sister still live there. Baraka said he moved with his dad to West Michigan in 2022. He and his dad had already made stops in Iowa, New Hampshire and Kentucky after relocating from Africa.

Prince Baraka on the baseball diamond. (Courtesy Kelloggsville High School)
Prince Baraka on the baseball diamond. (Courtesy Kelloggsville High School)

When he’s not in class, Baraka practices for his school’s football, baseball and wrestling teams. He wasn’t really exposed to those sports in his home country. Now, they are great distractions when he gets homesick, thinking of his mom.

“It’s been hard, but we make it work,” Baraka said. “I Facetime her, so it does work.”

Baraka also told News 8 he was proud to show his mom a couple of school certificates his teachers awarded him. He said it’s something that makes them feel connected despite the distance between them.

As he continues to make memories in West Michigan, Baraka said playing and watching football is a highlight.

“You see people like Deuce Vaughn, he’s 5-foot-5 and in the NFL right now,” Baraka said. “That’s one of the guys I look up to because he showed me that it’s possible and you can make it to the NFL.”

Baraka said he has dreams of going to the NFL. If that doesn’t work out, he said he will go to college and become an engineer like two of this three siblings in Rwanda.

In the meantime, he said he will focus on his grades and work to earn a 4.0 grade-point average.

“I’m just looking forward to focusing on my grades,” Baraka said. “I know with the grades I have, I can do better.”