Jasmine’s Story

I entered foster care at 16 years old and was placed in the home of “Aunt” Nessa, as I liked to call her. Few people knew of my situation; it was our little secret. I was embarrassed by the family dysfunction that led me to this strange place in my life, and with the support of my SCO caseworkers, I realized that education was my way out.

My goal was to attend Spelman College. I faced some naysayers; guidance counselors who said it was too expensive, others who felt I would never get in. But my SCO caseworkers and staff supported my decision. They stayed on top of me, making sure I filled out every document and scholarship. It was the staff’s unwavering support and positive reinforcement that sustained me.

I was accepted to Spelman with scholarships from several organizations as well as financial support from SCO’s education and permanency program, which helped me afford my housing.

But that was just the start of my journey. During summer break, I earned an internship volunteering with foster youth and their families through AmeriCorps that changed my life. I didn’t want any special treatment, so no one at my job was aware of my status as a foster youth. But as I worked in the family visiting room, much like a fly on the wall, I watched young people about my age visiting with the children they had lost custody of, some pregnant again. I saw a vicious cycle happening before my eyes.

It was that summer I realized that as a woman of color, as a foster youth, and as a human being who just cares, it would be a disservice if I didn’t take advantage of my unique pairing of lived experiences and desire to affect change.

Today, I am at Teachers College Columbia University earning my Masters in Clinical Psychology on a full scholarship, so that I, too, can be a source of support for youth in need.

Click here for IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATES from SCO

Ways to Help

COVID-19 is challenging the way we do things, but we won’t let it stop us from helping the 60,000 New Yorkers who are counting on us. Our staff are on the front lines, working around the clock and behind the scenes with one focus – unwavering support for those who need us more than ever.

There’s lots of good to go around. Here are some ways you can partner with SCO to offer support:

MAKE AN ONLINE GIFT – Now more than ever, we invite you to support our programs by making an online gift.

 

 

ONLINE SHOPPING – You can help us get diapers, clothes, housewares, toys, school supplies, board games and more directly to our program sites. You can even send in gift cards. Shop online at: Target Registry Amazon Registry Walmart Registry

 

TECHNOLOGY – While the world has adapted to virtual meetings and remote work, we still have children and families in our care who may not have the needed items. To ensure we can reach as many as possible, mobile devices are needed such as iPads and laptops.

 

CORPORATE SUPPORT – Is your employer or business looking for ways to get involved? Contact us to discuss ways your staff can volunteer and offer hope to our clients.

 

There is so much you can do from wherever you may be. Connect with our team today to find out how you can support our SCO Family during COVID-19. To reach us, please call (516) 666-0469 or email us at development@sco.org.

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Jasmine’s Story

From Foster Care to Advocate

Today, I am at Teachers College Columbia University earning my Masters in Clinical Psychology on a full scholarship, so that I, too, can be a source of support for youth in need. Learn More

98%

of the young adults in our Scattered Site Supportive Housing program were gainfully employed, engaged in school, or both

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

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