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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Directions

Main Office

1 Alexander Place Glen Cove, NY 11542
516.671.1253

Lawrence Street Office

154 Lawrence Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
718.797.3068

Other Locations

Brentwood Office

164 3rd Avenue & 8th Street Brentwood, NY 11717
631.273.2773

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1360 Fulton Street Brooklyn, NY 11216
917.966.4630

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2-4 Nevins Street Brooklyn, NY 11217
718.935.9466

Genovese Family Life Center

89-30 161st Street Jamaica, NY 11432
718.526.7533

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151 Burrs Lane Dix Hills, NY 11746
631.643.8800

Ottilie Campus

85-70 148th Street Briarwood, NY 11435
718.658.4101

Robert J. McMahon Children’s Center/Tyree Learning Center

101 Downing Avenue Sea Cliff, NY 11579
516.671.1111

Westbrook Preparatory School

231 St. Brigids Lane Westbury, NY 11590
516.338.5280

Faiz

RJMCC & Tyree Learning Center

“His progress has been exponential. In barely a year, he’s surpassed everyone’s expectations. It’s been transformative.” 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

87%

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

We help

4,100

people with special needs develop skills to reach their full potential

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