Staff of BDT: Yemaya King

Ayala’s pocketful of sunshine filled with love and determination


Yemaya King (10) performing at the 2021 Winterguard Show.

Katie Cheng

Down the halls, she walks with her hair neatly tied up into tight buns. She’s the life of the party, the ray of sunshine that is sure to light up your day, and the star of the show in Ayala Band and Colorguard (BAC) performances. Behind this bright smile is Yemaya King, a first-year journalism student and a second-year BAC member dancing away on their color guard team.

Being in Ayala’s BAC comes with great time commitment and responsibility, with high expectations to maintain its title as one of the state’s best-performing teams. Although, Ayala’s strong history doesn’t tap into her fear as the community surrounding her has been one that supports her and her goals.

“Everyone has a goal and it’s all to be better and be good, so it’s nice when you have the same goals because you can bring each other up,” said King.

A large factor in her comfort in BAC has been her support from upperclassman Daphne Master, a former Colorguard member. At the time, she admired her hard work and dedication to her craft. All throughout Colorguard, Master demonstrated respect for the coaches, making sure to utilize the feedback given by her coaches, a trait that King quickly began to pick up on.

“When performing, my eyes are always glued to her and I admire how hard she works and [how she] always wants to learn new things,” Master said.

As each performance went by, the pair would work together alongside the rest of their color guard teammates to create the best show ever. From testing out different combinations of tricks to learning new choreography to performing it before crowds of judges and families, their dedication to their craft brought what will be remembered as In the Balance, the 2022 Winterguard show.

“My most memorable moment is definitely making our opening choreography in our 2022 winter guard show. It was so much fun bouncing off ideas from one another and made performing with her so much more enjoyable!” Master said.

Her teamwork with her friends has even gotten her peers to grow a love for her energetic and powerful aura.

“I enjoy being in Colorguard with Yemaya because she makes it so much fun. I always have a good time around her and life seems simpler when we hang out,” said Junior Sophia Torres.

Not only is Yemaya physically strong from her long days of training alongside her team, but she is also mentally strong as well, having recently overcome her hardest challenge yet, confidence.

“I used to have very low self-esteem, but now I could just like, do anything I want in front of other people,” King said, “I’m starting to learn to just be yourself around people because that’s what makes you make more friends and better relationships with people.”

Caitlyn Chen (10) and Yemaya King (10) cosplaying as characters from Attack on Titan at AnimeExpo this past summer.

Whether it may be in class, or just walking around the halls, she’s been slowly making the effort to get out of her comfort zone. To ask an extra question in class, wave hello to someone new, or let out her colorful personality may seem easy to her now, but just a year ago it was one of the last things she expected to have done.

Since joining journalism, she has begun to show signs of these improvements. The first sign was her joining without fully understanding what the elective was and the second was her opening up to ask questions to her peers to get to know them more.

“At first I thought Journalism was writing on an actual paper and journals and diaries and making cool, good-looking fonts, like cursive. I thought it was like that or decorating a journal,” King said.

Although, most of her growth in becoming more outgoing has stemmed from her newfound reasoning to meet others.

“I like seeing how different people are and their personalities,” King said.


She’s confident, she’s talented, and she’s skilled. But with all of this on her hands, she deserves a break as much as anyone else. You can find her relaxing at home watching fantasy or sports animes like HunterxHunter and Haikyuu. While munching away at her pretzels and goldfish, she enjoys spending time to herself to unwind and relax. She even attended an anime event this past July where she and her friend got to attend and see people cosplay. 

Even in animes, her love for those who respect others can be reflected in her favorite characters in animes. In Haikyuu, she likes the character Bokuto the most as he respects everyone around him, including his rivals. 

If you ever feel slightly happier at any time of day at school, you may have been gifted with a drop of her radiant energy and if you feel a boost in energy, you may have been embraced by her bright smile and cheerful personality.

Everyone deserves someone like Yemaya, a one-of-a-kind ray of sunshine.