Daniel’s Story

At 24, Daniel has overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. Born with developmental disabilities, behavioral health issues, and addicted to drugs, Daniel entered foster care as an infant. He was adopted as a toddler by a loving mother who tragically passed away just a few years later. Daniel’s aunt cared for him until his needs eventually became too difficult for her to manage on her own. That’s when he was introduced to SCO.

When he was 15, Daniel came to SCO’s Extraordinary Needs group home, where specially-trained staff provide care, guidance, and a home-like experience for adolescents with developmental disabilities. At first, Daniel was reserved and had trouble communicating. But as time went on, Daniel gained confidence and found his voice – literally – while attending singing and performance workshops. Daniel

Since then, his progress has been nothing short of remarkable. Daniel is now able to talk and has become quite the social butterfly. He loves to bowl, watch Jeopardy, and engage in community activities. A budding diplomat (and Mets fan), he even attended a Yankees game with his housemates, although he refused to cheer.

Daniel is open and honest and has become a model resident. He’s a meticulous dresser who always puts his best foot forward. “That’s how we do it at SCO,” he says. Often referred to as the mayor of the house, Daniel keeps track of everything and everyone, advocating for himself and his peers.

As Daniel transitions to adulthood, SCO remains by his side with the supports he needs for a bright future. Last year, Daniel moved into a new SCO Individual Residential Alternative (IRA), a residence designed specifically for adults with challenges like his. Here Daniel continues to receive services, supports, and encouragement to live a full and independent life. New routines, new friends, and new adventures lay in store for Daniel, who is navigating his new surroundings like a pro.

Kelly’s Story

Kelly lives on a quiet tree-lined street with her husband, two sons, and an energetic puppy named Molly. Life is pretty good these days. In her own words, she has a decent job, a home, a car, and a supportive family – all things she never thought possible before entering SCO’s Morning Star residential program for women recovering from substance use.

Since the age of 13, Kelly had been hooked on alcohol. For the next 10 years, she struggled with severe alcoholism, heroin addiction, and all the terrible symptoms that go along with that. She tried every which way to control her use but failed over and over again. Institutions, hospitals, and psychiatric facilities became a normal part of life. At the age of 23, Kelly realized she was running out of options. She had no place to live, was unemployable, and had no way to provide for herself or her 4-year-old son, Joseph. That’s when she found SCO.

Kelly was 35 days sober for the first time in her adult life when she entered SCO’s residential program. This would be the first of many pivotal firsts. While in program, she learned about accountability and structure. She was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous and attended off site treatment programs. She felt supported and heard by the women and staff at Morning Star and thrived in this environment.

Little by little, Kelly rebuilt her life. With the help of vocational counselors, she returned to school, received her high school diploma, and took clerical courses. She was thrilled when Joseph came to live with her on campus, working with SCO’s coaches and childcare team to hone her parenting skills. And she addressed her past traumas head on with mental health counseling at SCO’s Family Services Clinic.

Kelly credits her time in Morning Star as life-changing. She has been gainfully employed since leaving the program in 2012 and now works for a successful law firm. She found her soulmate in Rob and was married in 2015, and expanded her family with another son, Aidan, a few years later. She likes to say she is a work in progress – and we know there are plenty of firsts still ahead for Kelly.

2023 SCO Staff Recognition Dinner

Our annual Staff Recognition Dinner gave us a chance to celebrate employee milestones and the work we do. CONGRATULATIONS to our Honorees and THANK YOU to every SCO employee for helping make the future brighter for children, youth, families and individuals throughout NYC and Long Island!

Daniel’s Story

Finding his voice - literally - at SCO's residence for adults with developmental disabilities

New routines, new friends, and new adventures lay in store for Daniel. Learn More

Kelly’s Story

A life rebuilt, with the help of Morning Star

Kelly credits her time in Morning Star as life-changing. Learn More

We help

1,100

children and young adults through foster care programs

Children in our NYC shelters had a

96%

attendance rate at NYC DOE schools

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