Shana’s Story

I have been challenged with addiction for 10 years, and have been in and out of outpatient treatment and detox several times – but I would always relapse.

When I arrived at Morning Star, I was at the lowest point in my life. Things were spiraling out of control. My four children had been taken from me and placed in foster care with a family member. And then I learned that I was 5 months pregnant.

I arrived with the worst attitude in the world. I was just so angry all the time. But at Morning Star, I started to reflect and gain clarity. I realized that I was hurt and angry with myself. And that’s when the healing began. Everything had been a fight up to that point. But I had nowhere to run – I had to face my problems.

Morning Star helped save my life. They never gave up on me.

Every interaction with my counselor and every staff member helped prepare me to re-enter the world clean and ready to thrive.

I attended treatment 5 days a week, attended a medical assistant program, and became certified in a workforce development program for nontraditional roles for women. And I learned that I am worth it! From now on, I show up, set up, and remain teachable.

When my baby, Liliana, was born, I can’t express how much the onsite child care at Morning Star II helped in my recovery. It made it possible for me to go to treatment, attend school, and focus on me. The structure kept me accountable for being a parent and prepared e for the real world.

I knew I was finally on a path to a better life when I left Morning Star. The court saw the improvements in me, too, and my children came back home to me. I never thought that would happen. Today, thanks to Morning Star, I have a home and my family lives under one roof.

I still visit the program to let them know of my progress. My goal is to be fully self-supported. I know there will be obstacles ahead of me. But I am prepared to take it one day at a time.

Selena’s Story

Selena first came to SCO’s Scattered Site Supportive Housing Program, in August 2017. This program provides housing and transitional services for young adults who have been in foster care and are at-risk of homelessness. Selena, who had been in foster care since age 9, was dealing with a lot of family and personal issues. She was feeling frustrated and depressed. The tipping point came when her biological father passed away.

As a way to help cope with her loss, Selena decided to write a book about her experience. She hoped sharing her experience might inspire others…turning her personal tragedy into something positive. Ever resourceful, Selena wrote her entire book on her cell phone and uploaded it onto Amazon where it is currently sold as a Kindle format e-book.

Selena’s entrepreneurial spirit had been unleashed. Following her book, Selena developed her own podcast where she talks about life issues and how she has dealt with them in the hopes of motivating others. Since establishing her podcast last year, she has attracted over 20,000 followers worldwide.

She didn’t stop there. Selena then decided that she wanted to sell merchandise with inspirational messages. She started her own online t-shirt company – printing, packaging and shipping orders out of her apartment.

Selena has found her calling. She has found healing through sharing her story and inspiring others and she has experienced personal growth in the process.

SCO staff are encouraging her to utilize her abilities and resilience to pursue her education. In doing so, Selena will be able to use her knowledge to promote and expand her budding enterprises and find other employment opportunities to help her as she transitions to independent living.



Early Childhood Organizations – New York State & City

New York City Division of Early Childhood Education (NYC DECE)

New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute  (CUNY PDI)

New York State Association for the Education of Young Children (NYSAEYC) 
Mission is to promote excellence in early care and education services for NYS children and families, through education, advocacy and the support of the profession.

New York Zero-to-Three (NYZTT)
New York regional network promoting the optimal development of young children, their families and their communities.


New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council
Provides strategic direction and advice to the State of New York on early childhood issues.

Winning Beginning NY
An early care and learning coalition.


Early Childhood Organizations – National

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
The nation’s leading voice for high-quality early childhood education for children from birth to age 8.

Zero to Three
The national center for infants, toddler and their families.

Teach for America
Teach For America is growing the movement of leaders who work to ensure that kids growing up in poverty get an excellent education.

Jumpstart is the only national supplemental program that leverages the power of community and adult-child relationships to build the key language and literacy skills children need to take on the world.

Child Care Exchange
Supporting early childhood education professionals worldwide in their efforts to craft thriving environments for children and adults.

The Future of Children
Providing research and analysis to promote effective policies and programs for children.

Center on the Developing Child
Mission is to drive science-based innovation that achieves breakthrough outcomes for children facing adversity.

Foundation for Child Development

New America EdCentral

McCormick Center on Early Childhood Leadership

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

Alliance for Early Success

Child Trends

Earlychildhood NEWS
Online resource for Teachers and Parents of children, from infants to age 8 years.

Academic Institutions

New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (CUNY PDI)

Bank Street College of Education

Teachers College at Columbia University

New York University Steinhardt School

Hunter College School of Education

Brooklyn College

The City College of New York, CUNY

Leadership Literature

Young Children – January 2005: Leadership in Early Childhood Education

The Impact of Leadership Development on Early Childhood Education

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) – Early Childhood Leaders on Leadership

A Study of Leaders’ Perspectives on Improving the Early Childhood

Early Childhood Literature

Science of Early Childhood Development
An online resource for teachers of young children focused entirely on the science of child development. This reource presents 5 modules, each focused on specific areas of child development, including developmental health, brain development, genetics and experience, coping and competence and communication and learning.

Job Opportunities

Please visit following resources to view available job opportunities in early childhood education:

New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute

Other Resources

Powerful Interactions

The New York State Core Body of Knowledge

New York State Early Learning Guidelines

New York State Foundations for the Common Core

Shana’s Story

Family First

Morning Star helped save my life. They never gave up on me. Learn More

Selena’s Story

Creating Opportunities

Selena has found her calling. She has found healing through sharing her story and inspiring others and she has experienced personal growth in the process. Learn More

We help


people with special needs develop skills to reach their full potential


of students at our residential school for youth with high-functioning autism are actively involved in weekly internships in the community