“I am one of the original members of Kids In Discovery of Self, Inc., basically because the founder, Sherina Aqeel is actually my biological mother. I am 1/5 of my mother’s biological children. You may ask why I used the term “biological,” in which I will explain. For every one child that my mom has, at least two extra children (not of her own) came along with us because we had a ton of friends and my mother considered them all her children. The environment that we were raised in was not always the best, therefore we were surrounded by uneducated children and parents; low income families; families
that suffered from substance abuse; and in some cases even physical, emotional and sexual abuse for many. Our friends flocked to our mom, unconsciously accepting her as their mom – when in many situations they didn’t have a mother or a solid mother figure other than her. Naturally, they open up to her about problems and difficulties that were facing at the time. My mother took time for each and every child; helping to counsel and encourage them to move forward and solve their problems in a positive way.
On other occasions, we had several friends who needed a place to live. My mother accepted every single child into her home with an understanding that they must be pursuing an attainable goal, furthering education and/or working to bring in income, and they cannot be involved in any illegal or violent activities. It’s quite amazing when I think back at how effortless it was for her to give everything to children who were not her own.
The KIDS program developed innately and has been a positive effect on our community. I am incredibly proud to be apart of a program that has turned around so many lives; that has rerouted paths from a future in the penitentiary to a college educated, family oriented husband/wife with values and morals.
And after so many years, my mother is still so passionate and determined to continue her calling. I not only feel this program is needed, I’m confident that it will make a difference – because it’s made a difference in mine. I too have my mother to thank for pushing me to succeed and always being there for me. As I finish my final month towards my MBA and continue my career as an entrepreneur, I can’t believe that I am that same child who didn’t come from much. Because of my mother, I worked hard to achieve more…and I am committed to not letting her down, for she sacrificed too much. I will also
always support KIDS and I know I am not alone.”
Sincerely, Intiasar Ziyad