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)

Kaitlyn’s Story

If you asked Kaitlyn years ago about how her experience at SCO’s Madonna Heights would help her grow, she wouldn’t have had an answer. Kaitlyn’s painful childhood meant being in and out of hospitals, group homes, and residential programs starting at just 8 years old. After her 16th birthday, she arrived at SCO’s Madonna Heights campus feeling angry, defiant, untrusting, and alone. Her struggle persisted – until everything changed for the better.

According to Kaitlyn, every single person she encountered at Madonna Heights made her feel human, loved, important, safe, and secure. She thrived for two years living on the Madonna Heights campus with a new support system focused on helping her achieve her personal, emotional, and academic goals. Today, Kaitlyn is overjoyed to use her life experiences to help guide the next generation of young women as a Youth Advocate at Madonna Heights.

Kaitlyn’s journey gave her the knowledge and insight to show people that no one is alone, to encourage them to advocate for themselves and to guide them on the path to finding their self-worth.

“Knowing my story can influence the story of another young girl which inspires me to give back,” said Kaitlyn.

 

 

Click here for IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATES from SCO

COVID-19 Information

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

SCO Program Updates

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 New York State Department of Education.

Read the full Plan»

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.

DOE Programs at SCO: Please note that SCO After School programs and Transfer High Schools (Bronx Arena Community High School, East Brooklyn Community High School, and North Queens Community High School) are closed through the rest of the 2019-2020 academic school year.

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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.

 

 

 

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

Kaitlyn’s Story

Importance of having patience, letting go and expressing my feelings without action

“Knowing my story can influence the story of another young girl which inspires me to give back,” said Kaitlyn. Learn More

We inspire

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