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Out Of Darkness Into Opportunity

Rebecca Mehling/Pittsburgh Steelers

1994, Freetown, Sierra Leon.

A young boy at the tender age of two is orphaned after both his parents are killed in the midst of one of the deadliest conflicts the world had ever seen, the Sierra Leon Civil War. The first five years of Amara Darboh's life were marred by constant bloodshed, during a period which left over 50,000 dead. Darboh and his relatives somehow were able to escape and find refuge in Senegal and Gambia.

In 2001, at the age of seven, the lives of Darboh and his relatives moved to the United State. With the aid of a Christian sponsored group, he and his family would stay in Des Moines, Iowa. Blessed with natural athletic abilities, Darboh earned a scholarship to play Little League baseball at the age of eight.

His experience with Beaverdale would change the course of this life forever, after meeting a young boy by the name of Max Schaefer. Coincidentally, Max's father happened to be the coach of his team, Dan Schaefer. Through the years, his relationship with Max would evolve into a brother, as he developed a close relationship with his family.

"Max and Amara, there was some bond there that they just became close friends, and next thing you know, Amara was over more and more and more, so he became more of a fixture in the house."

By the age of 11, Darboh would move in with the Schaefers, and by the time he was 17, he would be legally into the Schaefer family by request of his older sister, who recognized that his best chance at realizing his potential, was by making him an official member of the family.

Throughout all the obstacles in his life, Darboh has always defined himself through his athletic abilities, rather than an orphaned refugee from a war-torn country. When arriving in Michigan in 2012, he would often show glimpses of his athleticism. 2016 was not only the year where he officially became a United States citizen, it was the year, where would break out under new head coach, Jim Harbaugh. By the time his senior season ended. Darboh would finish as the team's leader in receptions with 56, receiving yards with 862 yards, and touchdowns with seven

Since being drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, injuries have derailed him from realizing his true potential. He had been waived twice due to failed physicals, and was promoted this season to the Tampa Buccaneer's active roster before being waived in early November.

If there is one thing Darboh has learned throughout the course of his life, is that every occurrence has followed with a new opportunity. For a team like the Steelers that has battled adversity all season, Darboh is a seamless fit, as his entire life has been defined by it.

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