Miatta, age 7, from Reading, PA, arrived at the Masonic Children’s Home in July. She felt shy and unsure, as it was the first time she had been away from her parents.

On the first day of school in August, as she nervously boarded the school bus to head to her new school, Miatta felt a hand take hers. It was Marissa, one of the girls who lives with her in Balliet Cottage. Marissa told the bus driver it was Miatta’s first day, so she’d feel more comfortable.

It was one of many ways Miatta has felt at home at the children’s home.

“I feel like they’re my sisters,” she said of her cottage mates.

She enjoys playing games, learning to read Junie B. Jones books (who also happens to be a fellow first grader) and watching her favorite TV show, “Hey, Jessie,” with her “sisters.” They’ve also inspired her to take gymnastics, and in the future, she plans to be a cheerleader.

Miatta also attends a weekly youth group, Awana, at a nearby church and has fun with other amenities at the children’s home.

“The pool we have I like the most,” she said. “And I like sledding. I like to learn and be with my friends.”

Miatta’s favorite subject at school is STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Classwork includes projects that demonstrate how these four areas can be put to practical use, such as building robots.

She also likes to write, and children’s home social worker Alison Izer-Bowman said Miatta is a great story teller. This makes Miatta well-suited for her future career choice: a journalist.

She enjoys sharing stories about her Liberian heritage and the food her parents make, such as jollof rice and puff puff (deep fried dough). Nothing gets the normally quiet Miatta going more than listening to Flavour, a Nigerian musician.

While embracing where she comes from, Miatta also appreciates where she is now.

Her message to those who support the children’s home is simple:

“Thank you for donating money. Thank you for looking out for us and getting us the things we need.”

The staff and donors of the Masonic Children’s Home will be cheering on Miatta throughout her childhood, and we can’t wait to see the successful young woman she becomes!