There’s nothing stronger than a bond between brothers, especially brothers who have overcome struggles together. While Eriyah (pictured above, right) and Emmet (pictured above, left) were only 10 and 8 years old when they came to the children’s home, they remember quite a bit about their home life in the outskirts of Philadelphia.
“My mom and dad worked a lot, so we were alone in the house a lot,” Eriyah said.
“We couldn’t really go outside to play or anything,” Emmet said, “so we stayed inside.”
Their childhood home didn’t give Eriyah and Emmet the chance to be happy or successful.
However, for the last three years, the boys have been enjoying countless opportunities the children’s home provides. They have formed friendships and found activities they are passionate about, unique to their interests and personalities.
Eriyah has discovered his talent for basketball, and Emmet has found a love for art and reading.
“I don’t really like sports,” Emmet said, “but I look up to Eriyah because he’s smart.”
Although they live in different cottages, Eriyah tries to check in on Emmet frequently. He’s also reminded of Emmet when he looks at the origami eagle displayed in his room. Emmet made it for him and painted it green, as he knows how much Eriyah loves the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I like having Emmet here with me,” Eriyah said. “I can look outside and see him playing with his friends and stuff.”
Children’s home staff try their best to keep siblings together, and even have them move into the children’s home at the same time. For Eriyah and Emmet, that was important.
“When we first came here, I remember smelling the cows,” Eriyah said. “I was like, ‘Where are we?’ We also had to get used to a new school.”
Fortunately for Eriyah and Emmet, the house parents and other children welcomed them with open arms.
“The house parents here are really nice, and they teach you to be responsible,” Eriyah said.
Eriyah’s and Emmet’s academics have drastically improved, and they now have hopes for the future. Eriyah wants to become an engineer, and Emmet hopes to one day turn his love for art into a career as an artist.
There’s fun at the children’s home, too. Both Eriyah and Emmet are looking forward to the COVID-19 pandemic ending, so they can continue to do the things they love most about being at the children’s home: going to the pool, seeing movies and taking trips with the boys and house parents in their cottages.
“We have lots of different opportunities and lots of people to look up to here,” Emmet said.