Great Graduates 2020: Erik Kamanzi

Erick is set to attend Texas Southern University, and study psychology

A dangerous 8,000 mile journey from a war torn country in Africa ends on San Antonio’s West Side.

SAN ANTONIO – A dangerous 8,000 mile journey from a war torn country in Africa ends on San Antonio’s West Side.

Erik Kamanzi and his family started in the democratic republic of Congo and now Erik is graduating from KIPP University Prep School way for college in the fall.

“I’m a refugee from Congo to Tanzania, yeah, I came here 2010 to San Antonio,” Apolina Kulimushi, Erik’s mom, said.

She led her family across the world to a safer life.

“Oh. We left there because of fighting. There was fighting in the country. Country to country. Rawanda and Congo fighting. Yeah, we we left there because of that general siege,” Eriks mom said.

The Kamanzis story is that of strength, perseverance, and overcoming the seemingly impossible.

“My mom’s like the person that means the most to me in this world, obviously. But like, just what she’s done by herself as a single parent, is like just out of this world, crazy.” Erik Kamanzi said.

At home Erik and his family still speak Swahili, and when he is out in the community everywhere from the basketball court to the classroom, he is a leader.

So he has been paired since the time he was a freshman with students who have really struggled at our school because we are so confident in his ability to, again, be strong for students who are struggling,” Abby Garland, KIPP principal said.

Erick is a leader at KIPP, and in his community.

Next year Erick is set to attend Texas Southern University and study psychology and continue to help people.


About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.