Stories / Program
Aziza had a difficult childhood growing up in Harlem. Her mother was a single parent who struggled to take care of her. As a result, Aziza spent a number of years in the foster care system and was heavily impacted by her experiences. The trauma she endured then, she still contends with today. Now, a mother to two daughters and a young son, her first priority is to protect her children and to give them a better childhood than she had.
Aziza was first introduced to Friends of the Children NY when her oldest daughter was in kindergarten. Her daughter's teacher recommended that she join the Friends program. Her Friend would spend four hours a week with her, every week, for the entire year. She spent time helping Aziza with her homework, taking her on outings, and exploring her community while building a strong friendship.
Throughout the years, Aziza developed a close relationship with both of her daughters' Friends. Often, the Friends would give unique insight into the personal and emotional struggles that her children were facing; which enabled her to problem solve more actively as a parent. There were times when Aziza felt she didn't have the strength to care for her children and felt like giving them up to the foster care system, but Friends helped her to push forward.
Today, both of Aziza's daughters and her son are Achievers at Friends NY.
“"Friends help my kids to explore other parts of the city, exposing them to new things and giving them the confidence to believe they can do anything they put their mind to." - Aziza, Friends NY Parent”