Amya Monserrat's mother creates foundation to help youth facing trauma
It was mid April when 15-year-old Amya Monseratt of Youngstown was shot and killed, with her mother by her side.
Now, Monseratt's mother, Jaismin Morris, is focusing on protecting Youngstown children from violence and the trauma that comes with it, something Morris said cannot be ignored in the city of Youngstown.
She hopes a new foundation in her daughter's name will pave a new way for kids who need it most.
Six months after Monseratt lost her life because of senseless violence, Morris reminds the Valley what happened that evening at a Sweet 16 birthday party, and asks that the city does not forget Amya. Not only does Morris want the community to remember her daughter, but she's taking action for every child of Youngstown faced with the trauma of witnessing gun violence.
"I just want to be there to help these children," she said, "My motive is to help children affected by gun violence grow up to be resilient."
Morris said she's remained strong by counting her blessings but continues to feel a sense of shock after watching her daughter lose her life, and believes children in these types of situations need the most support.
"Being able to control your emotions is the most important tool anybody could give anybody, especially a child going through such a traumatic experience," she said, "It's time to stand up and take accountability."
Morris created the "Amiya Marie Foundation" to help inner-city youth overcome the trauma, anxiety, depression, and overall adversity kids have been faced with for generations.
She hopes to shift the mindset many, even if the pain from experiencing gun violence makes it feel as though the odds are against them.
"I want to take them places so they know this world is so huge, and the world loves you. I want to give these children love," she said, "I want to give them a sense of stability, structure, and also help them find their way through life. I want to help them get through school. I want to push them through college."
She said one of her ideas is a wellness camp, where children and teens can receive help, access resources, and enjoy a safe place to escape.
Morris adds that the foundation helps not just the youth, but any family faced with trauma and believes in order to get through to children, the adults need to be connected.
To get involved or contribute to the foundation, you can find more information here.