Fatu’s Story

At 19, Fatu’s future looks bright. She plans to go to Monroe College in the fall to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer. She’s currently going to school and working full-time as a paralegal at Queens Defenders, which provides free services to low-income people. Not long ago, she was a recipient of those services.

You see, the future did not always look so bright for Fatu. When she came to live in one of SCO’s residences for youth in foster care in 2018, she had had a difficult childhood, and she’d been in trouble with the law.

When Fatu was 12, her mother returned to their native Liberia with her younger brother, leaving Fatu with an abusive family friend in Queens. She eventually ran away, joined a gang and got into trouble.

When she first came to SCO, Fatu was confrontational with staff and other residents. But despite her rocky start at her new home, SCO staff has been behind her since day one. They encouraged her to further her education and pursue her GED. They showed her the right way to do things, and most of all, they showed her they cared.

Fatu’s former Queens Defenders lawyer, Anthony Martone, played a pivotal role in her turnaround. He saw her potential and went the extra mile to help her by initiating an internship program at the firm for past clients who’ve been through the juvenile justice system. Fatu was the first intern and became the first full-time hire from the program.

Fatu is positive, respectful, and focused. She loves her job and it has inspired her to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.

Her turnaround has been nothing short of miraculous, and it serves as an inspiration to other youth. Fatu is living proof of what is possible with a positive attitude, hard work, perseverance, and the help of caring adults who never stop believing in you.

See Fatu’s story in THE CITY.

(Photo: Ben Fractenberg-THE CITY)

Ryan’s Story

At 7 years old, Ryan was removed from his mother’s home and placed in SCO’s Foster Care program. Options for exploring his interests and creativity were limited. But that all changed for Ryan when his mentor at SCO encouraged and empowered him to pursue his dreams.

This mentorship broadened Ryan’s world and opened doors to opportunities. He discovered his abilities and strengths, nurtured a love for science, and developed his networking skills. Today, Ryan is proud to pay his experience forward by mentoring, encouraging, and guiding younger children at SCO.

Ryan is now a sophomore majoring in Biology at Jamestown Community College. SCO assisted him with transportation, college applications, and opportunities for financial aid to help him fulfill his potential and continue his education.

“Thank you for investing in my future,” said Ryan. “There is so much I would not have been able to do without the care and support that I received from SCO Family of Services.”

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Fatu’s Story

Changing Her Trajectory

At 19, Fatu’s future looks bright. She plans to go to Monroe College in the fall to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer. Learn More

Ryan’s Story

Launching Youth into Successful Careers

At 7 years old, Ryan was removed from his mother’s home and placed in SCO’s Foster Care program. Learn More

Last year,

97%

of children in our early education centers met or exceeded national mathematics performance standards

3

new locations for our Day Habilitation program are helping 40% more adults with developmental disabilities attain higher levels of socialization and independence