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)

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COVID-19 Information

Find the latest updates regarding SCO Programs and a wealth of information and resources related to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Test

SCO Family of Services is partnering with NYC Test & Trace Corps to fight COVID-19 so that New Yorkers can get back to school, work, and help New York City reopen safely. Visit our Health Resources page to learn more.

FREE COVID-19 tests are confidential and safe. Visit nyc.gov/covidtest, text “COVID Test” to 855-48, or call 212-COVID19 to find a testing site in New York City.

Find A New York State Test Site Near You: Enter your address and find locations that provide coronavirus testing.

COVID-19 Vaccination 

For updated information related to the COVID-19 vaccine, click here for New York State’s Vaccine Website or call the state’s Vaccine Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-497-4829). List of New York State-operated vaccination locations and availability. Visit the Health Resources to learn more.

SCOnward – our safe approach for clients and staff

SCO Safety Plan: SCO has developed a Safety Plan following New York State’s guidance on how to safely operate.  The health and safety of our staff, clients, and families is our top priority and guides all of our decisions. Individual programs that require specialized plans by their oversight agency are listed below.

Day Habilitation Safety Plans: 

Residential Schools Reopening Plan: The 853 Schools Reopening Plan developed by SCO Family of Services for Westbrook Preparatory School, Madonna Heights School, Tyree Learning Center, Christopher School, and Theresa Paplin School follows the reopening guidance issued by the New York State Department of Education.

Read the full plan» English  •  Spanish

Reopening Plan Letters to Families

Residential Programs: To help protect our residential clients, all visitors will be prescreened by phone prior to scheduled visits to SCO residences. Please do not visit an SCO residence unannounced. Thank you for doing your part to protect all SCO clients.

Information on the New York State Cluster Initiative and Yellow Zone Testing 

  1. What You Need to Know About New York City’s Localized Restrictions

 

Help us honor our front-line heroes at SCO Family of Services. Say Thank You

 

Health Resources

Find information about COVID-19, its treatment, and prevention here.


 

Resources for Families

Click here for educational and online activities for the family as well as food, financial, and a variety of other helpful resources.


 

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. SCO is actively working on addressing the immediate and long-term needs of our families during this crisis and we need your help. There are many ways you can partner with SCO to offer support.

 

 

 

Adam Graves

"Garden of Dreams is the single most important thing we do.” Learn More

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

We help

1,700

children get ready for kindergarten

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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