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 a 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.