Love And Loyalty

Freshman Saiya Ameen makes a difference for children in the foster care system

January 5, 2021

Love+And+Loyalty

Saiya Ameen

The foster care system is damaged. The system is hurting the children who need saving. Thousands of children ages ranging from 0 to 18 , are placed in foster care everyday.

According to an article in Very Well Family, the main reasons children end up in the system is due to abuse (which can be physical, mental, sexual and emotional), neglect, medical neglect, incarceration, abandonment, truancy, juvenile offences, runaways and so many more incredibly challenging circumstances. Due to these traumatic events, many children are left feeling lost, depressed and just overall unhappy. Freshman Saiya Ameen became very aware of this so she decided to be the one to help make the change.

Saiya Ameen decided to create Friends For Foster (FFF), with sponsor and art teacher Ms. Carrie Middendorf. FFF was created by them to make change in the foster care system. (Submitted by Saiya Ameen )

Saiya Ameen decided to create Friends For Foster (FFF), with sponsor art teacher Ms. Carrie Middendorf. FFF was created by them to make change in the foster care system. They started this by one day discussing the statistics about foster homes along with the terrible conditions that some foster kids face. 

Ameen thought Ms. Middendorf would be a perfect sponsor because of the hardship she’s seen and how she makes almost anyone feel loved and comfortable. FFF is not only an organization, but a support group. It’s a safe place where these kids can feel like they have friends/a family to go to where they can truly be themselves. You can be a part of FFF by going to their Instagram account@friendsforfoster and DM them, join the Google classroom, or talk to anyone in the organization. However, Ameen and Middendorf can’t do it all alone. They need everyone’s support for their organization to be successful.

According to Children’s Rights, “the average age of kids entering care is 8.” Many may think that foster care is just for “bad” kids, but who can really call a child bad when they are just in a bad situation. There is a misconception of what the system is and what it really should be. Children’s Rights also says, “one third of children entering U.S. foster care were young people of color.” This makes it even harder for the two thirds of children to get accepted, due to the racism that is happening everywhere. No matter what challenges there are for these kids, whether you see this or not, it is happening and it will continue until it is stopped.

Art teacher Ms. Middendorf sponsored Ameen with her organization. (Submitted by Ms. Middendorf)

“The main thing I want to change is how these kids feel about themselves,” Ameen said. “They’re given trash bags to put all of their stuff in. And they have no family, they have no one really. And you might be saying ‘oh they have the whole foster care system’. But no, these people are not nice to them. I’ve seen them, what they do to them. And all of this makes them think they’re not loved.” 

Ameen has wisdom way beyond her years. Her ability to be opened minded and determined is incredible, but this isn’t all about Ameen. It is about the kids who don’t have the chance to even show people what they’re able to do, who they are, or what they can become, and Ameen saw this and decided to be the one to make this better for them.

When talking about what sparked the idea for FFF she said, “I watched the movie ‘Instant Family’ and I saw how terrible the foster care system is and I was like, “I wanna make a change. It was also because I have some friends in the foster care system and they tell me how it is and it breaks my heart because it’s not good.”

Not only did Ameen start the organization, but she also started a gofundme to donate, along with a Popcorn pop up store where you can buy popcorn and the proceeds will go to her organization.

Family isn’t blood and biology; its love and loyalty.”

— Saiya Ameen

“My main goal with this organization is to be their friend, because personally I don’t think family is biological,” Ameen said. “I think it is how you treat other people and the love you give. And that is what Friends For Foster is trying to do, show them love.” 

“They’re having a terrible time, especially because of COVID and I wanted to make this organization to show them that they’re loved because most of them have terrible mental health,” Ameen said.

If people are unable to donate, they can help out by “sharing it, telling friends and families, posting on social media, telling anyone, being there because Friends For Foster is also a support group. So being there for foster kids or kids who are being abused at home. Just supporting kids who need help, especially who are in foster care.” 

So please if you can, share this story and let this organization be known.

About the Writer
Photo of Grayce Page
Grayce Page, Reporter

Grayce Page is a sophomore this year. Even though this is Grayce’s second year at Liberty, this is her first year of journalism. In her free time you...

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