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)

Fadwa’s Story

To say Fadwa is driven is an understatement. She doesn’t dream of becoming a surgical nurse, she is actively taking steps to make it happen. And to make her mother proud.

Fadwa lost her mother to cancer when she was just 13 years old. Her father expected Fadwa to assume her mother’s responsibilities and moved the family often, keeping them distanced from any extended family. She was not allowed to have friends or participate in extracurricular activities. She attended five different high schools and managed to maintain excellent grades while she cooked, cleaned, and took care of her two brothers and father.

At 17, she was abandoned by her father and placed in SCO’s foster care program. SCO helped stabilize the teen, placed her with a foster family, and eventually was able to locate a maternal aunt who opened her heart and home to her long-lost niece through kinship foster care.

Despite her early challenges, Fadwa stays focused on the opportunities ahead of her. SCO’s foster care staff helped her prepare for college; guiding her through the application process and helping her achieve both a Dream USA Scholarship and a Youth in Foster Care Award.  Currently a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College, SCO helped her secure an internship with a surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Fadwa’s goal is to keep her GPA high enough to get into nursing school. And we have no doubt she will achieve this and so much more.

 

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Our Impact

SCO is focused on providing the best care and services to help our clients succeed. We are with them every step of the way, helping to open doors to opportunities, gain access to resources, and improve the quality of their lives.

How do we measure success? Through their success in achieving their goals in three overarching areas: Learning, Work and Well-being.

Learning

  • 94% of students in our 5 preschools met or exceeded goals for social-emotional development
  • 94% of students at Westbrook Preparatory School passed the Regents exam on the first try
  • 87% of young adults in foster care (18+) are enrolled in school or working
  • 4 out of 5 young adults (21+) at our Residential Treatment Center for youth with developmental disabilities participate in Day Habilitation or are enrolled in school

Work

  • Our Center for Family Life connected 1,470 youth to summer work opportunities that generated over $2.1 million in earnings for youth and their families
  • 90% of clients at our Brooklyn Youth Center achieved their employment goals
  • 96% of students at our Westbury campus are working or interning in the community
  • 100% of eligible residents at our Madonna Heights Residential Treatment Facility participated in work, internship, or volunteer activities
  • 98% of the young adults in our Scattered Site Supportive Housing program were gainfully employed, engaged in school, or both

Well-being

  • 99% of at-risk families throughout Brooklyn and Queens remained together and stable with family support services
  • 96% of students at our Dix Hills campus participated in weekly wellness activities
  • 91% of women in our residential recovery program remained substance free

In FY 2019, SCO:

  • Sheltered 4,600 youth, adults and children experiencing homelessness
  • Helped 4,100 individuals with special needs develop skills to reach their full potential
  • Guided 9,900 children and teens on the path to academic success through after school, summer and work-readiness programs
  • Prepared 1,700 young children for kindergarten in our early childhood programs
  • Served 1,300 children and young adults in foster care and their families
  • Strengthened families and communities across the metro area, providing 24,000 New Yorkers with counseling, support and community-based services

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

Fadwa’s Story

Foster Care and Education

“I’m going to be successful regardless of what I’ve been through." Learn More

Last year, we placed

1,470

youth in employment, subsidized employment or internships

87%

of young adults in foster care (18+) are enrolled in school or working

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