Archives for November 2014

RJMCC Thanksgiving

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Residents at our Robert J. McMahon Children’s Center celebrated Thanksgiving this week with a much-anticipated RJMCC annual tradition: a family-style Thanksgiving feast. The entire campus enjoyed good food and good company, joined by 42 local volunteers who shared a festive evening with youth in each of RJMCC’s seven residential units. The volunteers brought games, music and gifts for all of the children. “Everyone had an absolutely amazing night,” said SCO Director of Recreation and Volunteer Services Shelley Feldman. “We have the most dedicated and kind-hearted volunteers that you could ever imagine!”

[Read more…]

4th Annual Westbrook Prep Turkey Bowl

DSC_0448Brisk temperatures were no match for the spirit and enthusiasm of Westbrook Preparatory School students and staff at the 4th Annual Westbrook Prep Turkey Bowl football game Nov. 20th. The blue and green teams battled to a 28-28 tie in a game filled with big plays and lots of fun. Check out more photos in the gallery below! [Read more…]

Theresa Paplin School Open House

Mom & DaughterThe solar system, Coney Island and Orca whales were all on display at Theresa Paplin School’s Open House on our Ottilie campus Nov. 20th. Students proudly showed off their artwork and science projects to their equally proud parents. Browse more photos by clicking on any of the thumbnails in the gallery below! [Read more…]

2015 SCO Family of Services Annual Benefit


Save the date: Friday, May 29, 2015

Click here for Sponsorship & Ticketing Information

For more information, contact Sioban Rack at 516.671.1253 x139 or

National Adoption Month – SCO Forever Families Updates

November is National Adoption Month and we’re celebrating by catching up with some of the adoptive families we’ve featured in the past year.

noah and brigid 3Noah and Brigid Mehegan

Noah Joshua Mehegan, age 6, has been Brigid’s son since he was 2 years old. On February 24, 2014, Brigid adopted him. While everything was the same as far as Noah was concerned, that day gave Brigid a feeling she will never forget. “It didn’t really hit me until the judge said ‘You are officially Noah Joshua Mehegan,’” Brigid said. “It took my breath away. It was amazing. I’d like to relive that feeling over and over.” From that point on, Noah would have only one name. Brigid would be able to make all of the medical and other decisions regarding Noah without needing consent from someone else. It took away all of the uncertainty Brigid had lived with as a foster mom. [Read more…]

Support SCO at Champions for Charity holiday shopping benefit

Click here to register for your CHAMPION CARD!

Champions Eblast School Blue snow

November is National Adoption Month – a time to celebrate adoptive families like Laila, Liza and Valentin

Their story

In Memoriam: Brentwood’s Heriberto “Pete” Torres

A message from Doug O’Dell to SCO staff, 11/6/14

pete torresWe are mourning the sudden death Wednesday morning of Heriberto “Pete” Torres, a longtime, beloved maintenance worker known to many as “Everybody’s angel” at the Brentwood office in Long Island. We understand how upsetting and traumatic this is for staff who worked in Brentwood as well as for many other people throughout SCO who have travelled through the Brentwood office. He will be greatly missed.

Mr. Torres has worked for SCO since July, 2001, and was widely respected for his hard work, reliability, kindness and generosity, as well as his compassion and understanding for clients.

QI Specialist Dan Burns, a CPR instructor, found Mr. Torres in distress and administered first aid until the ambulance arrived, but Mr. Torres passed away in the hospital.

Assistant Executive Director Susan Moran said: “Pete always had a smile on his face and was always looking to help people. He was thoughtful, kind, devoted to SCO and to the people we serve, and he was an all-around wonderful person. We were blessed to know him.”

“He is irreplaceable,” said Program Director Erin Coyle. “He dug our cars out, he walked us out at night, we had to force him to take days off.”

Director Sherry LeWinter said Mr. Torres lived with his sister and was very close to several nephews and other family members. She recalled his many kindnesses, as well as his love for the Yankees, the Giants and everything to do with football. “He was so humble – you wouldn’t believe this person existed in this world.”

Working the early shift, starting at 6:00am, Mr. Torres did all that was required – and more – for the 150 employees who work in the building for the Long Island-based foster care programs, therapeutic foster care, preventive services, OPWDD and Opportunities at Home, taking great pride in keeping up the building and supporting staff. “We all loved him,” said Office Manager Mary Rieger. “He was reliable, hardworking and the nicest guy. He was fantastic.”

Employees reported Mr. Torres’ attention to details like making sure the tires on their cars were filled with air, and how he frequently dropped off gifts for staff and went out of his way to fulfill whatever task was required of him.

Staff from the Mental Health Department will be in Brentwood to speak with staff privately or in groups. We are planning to provide funeral arrangements as soon as they’re known.


SCO’s Brentwood office plans to honor Pete with a memorial bench to be placed in front of the building. If you would like to contribute to the purchase of this memorial bench, please contact Jennifer DiSilvestro or Florence Picarello (631.273.2773). Any additional funds will be used for a memorial plaque within the building. Upon delivery of the bench, a date will be set for a memorial service to honor Pete’s life.

In an email to Brentwood staff regarding these arrangements, Homefinding Supervisor Jennifer DiSilvestro also shared the following thoughts:

As we all know our beloved friend and SCO family member- Pete Torres has been called home. Pete gave of himself in a way that touched all of our lives. We all have Pete stories about his extraordinary kindness and generosity. Pete was the soul and SUNSHINE of this office. Each morning upon arrival, one could count on receiving a warm smile and a good morning from Pete.  In the blistering cold and blizzard conditions, it was Pete who was outside digging out our cars to ensure we were all safe. In the pouring rain, it was Pete who could be seen changing a flat tire. Who didn’t ask Pete for a better desk, bulletin board, or file cabinet etc…which Pete was also always able to say, “don’t worry, I got you” and then somehow manage to find what you requested. There is nothing you could have asked Pete for that he wouldn’t have gladly helped you with.

Nurse-Family Partnership Graduation – November 2014

SCO celebrated the 27 newest graduates of the NYC Nurse-Family Partnership program in a graduation ceremony November 5th. Congratulations to the families, nurses and staff! See photos below.

Nurse-Family Partnership is a nationally recognized, evidence-based program for first-time mothers. Registered nurses provide in-home visits for expectant mothers during the early stages of pregnancy through the child’s second birthday, offering the counseling and support needed to deliver healthy babies and become good parents. [Read more…]

SCO’s Parent Advocates Engage, Advocate & Support

advocates + Liza Blank

Back row (L-R): Liza Blank, Annette Gonzalez, Rhonda Frazier Johnson. Front row (L-R): Tameka Christie, Yolanda Jimenez.

Rhonda Frazier Johnson was a victim of domestic violence when her children were placed into foster care 25 years ago. While she worked to meet the requirements for reunification, Rhonda was left to figure out the court’s multiple demands by herself.

“It was pretty much, ‘Go, do all these things and good luck.  Come back when you’ve got it all together,’” Frazier Johnson recalls.

Fortunately for families whose children are in care with SCO Family of Services, there are Parent Advocates – including Frazier Johnson – who can help. [Read more…]

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