As a foster kid in the Region 11 district, Nueces and surrounding counties included, you would only be considered one out of over 2,000 kids.
You would have the clothes on your back — and a trash bag for your belongings.
Amy Mintz, professor of Child Development/Early Childhood, wants to change that. She creates a project every semester in which interns within the program have to participate.
In the months leading up to the introduction of this project, the sad reality that foster kids face was brought to her attention, making her interest reach far beyond to taking action.
“This is something happening in our community,” Mintz explained to her interns. “This is affecting your children, the ones living on your street, and the ones that may even go to the schools you will be employed at.”
Intern ___ Smith, an early childhood education major, explained her attraction to this project and how the passion goes beyond that of the classroom.
“Growing up I was the oldest in my neighborhood,” Smith said. “I was always having to take care of the kids around me and I saw one of the families on my street receive a foster child only 6 days old.”
Mintz explained that the biggest age range that can be seen in these types of cases is 0-2 years old.
Intern Angela Serna, an early childhood education major, also spoke to say that sending children off with only a trash bag to hold their things “broke her heart.”
“Children are our passion. These children don’t have much of anything,” Serna said. “We don’t have trash bags to hold our belongings, so why should they?”
Not only does the reality of these situations make you want to help, but for intern Nikole ?____?, it’s simply for joy and innocence of kids.
“I’ve always loved watching kids and how they learn and respond to different situations,” ?___? said. “They are so pure and seeing their insight on things is so different.”
Mintz said the main reason children are taken to foster homes is neglect.
“Either they aren’t getting the food they need or the resources needed to live,” Mintz said. “Some of them don’t even have underwear.
The foster system was explained in a way that haunts any mother. Children are removed from homes because their family may be struggling financially or physically the conditions aren’t suitable.
Along with the high rate or infants is also the female gender.
“More girls can be seen in foster care because they are taken out of abusive situations or other physical situations that may have aroused,” Mintz said.
Mintz and her interns will be working with the nonprofit organization Foster Angels to create duffle bags to be filled and given to children about to go to new foster homes.
Items can be dropped off in boxes that will be located around the campus and community.
Mintz and her interns will be receiving items until Nov. 30.
If you have any questions or wish to donate, contact Amy Mintz at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Early Childhood Development Center, Room 129.
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