Shalini’s Story

Shalini is a young woman who knows exactly where she’s headed. A chance experience tutoring young children as a high school student while in SCO’s foster care program ignited her passion for teaching, and now guides her every step.

With a razor-sharp focus on achieving her goals, Shalini has mapped out her immediate and long-term plans. First, she’ll graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree in early education. And then it’s off to graduate school to earn her master’s in teaching. A few years ago, these might have been considered lofty goals, but with the right supports in place, Shalini is well on her way.

Shalini was placed in SCO’s Foster Care program after the death of her father 9 years ago. While safe and well-cared for by her foster family, she was angry and worried about the future. “I needed a team to support me and advise me, and give me the right tools to succeed,” she reflects.

And a team is exactly what she received. SCO provided the resources, services, and guidance she needed to become her best self. During high school, a team of education and mental health specialists helped Shalini overcome obstacles and helped her to realize she “did not have to transition to adulthood alone.” She participated in mentoring programs, made new connections, and built relationships with other young adults in care. As her confidence grew, Shalini began tutoring children from a nearby elementary school as part of her program with SCO. That was the “aha” moment that shaped her future. She fell in love with teaching!

When it was time for college, SCO’s staff helped Shalini complete applications, navigate financial aid, and apply to the Dorm Project, which enables her to live in a college dorm all year round. Her SCO coach remains a constant presence and is even helping Shalini work towards getting a driver’s license.

Today, Shalini is a rising junior at Hunter College, and we have no doubt she will achieve all she sets out to accomplish.

RaShaan’s Story

RaShaan was a resilient young adult when he came into SCO’s Foster Care program over a year ago, unsure of the future and longing for stability. Though he initially stepped into our residential group home with apprehension, it soon became a haven where he formed bonds and found constant support. RaShaan was relieved he finally had a place to call home.

Rashaan was assigned a Forward Journey coach, Arzu, who works with him on his education, career, and life skill goals. As Rashaan puts it, “She’s the person I call for anything and everything.”

When he first came into care, he wasn’t enrolled in school, didn’t have a job, and was unsure of the paths he wanted to follow. Arzu encouraged him to go back to get his GED and connected him to SCO’s Mentored Internship Program (MIP).

In MIP, Rashaan was able to work on his resume, cover letter, interview skills, and network. After completing MIP, he continues to receive support through SCO’s Passages to Adulthood program, where he learns independent living skills and interns – gaining real world job experience.

Under a steadfast mentorship, RaShaan reignited his educational drive, pursuing his GED with an aspiration to excel in the performing arts. With skills sharpened through SCO’s programs to support youth in care, he stands at the threshold of a bright future, enriched by invaluable experiences and friendships.

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Shalini’s Story

Destined for success with support from her SCO team

That was the “aha” moment that shaped her future. Learn More

RaShaan’s Story

Reigniting educational drive through mentorship opportunities

“She’s the person I call for anything and everything.” Learn More

Children in our NYC shelters had a

96%

attendance rate at NYC DOE schools

We help

2,700

people with special needs develop skills to reach their full potential

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