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.

SCO Council

The SCO Council is a diverse group of individuals and corporate partners committed to improving the lives of children and families living in communities of need. A primary objective of this group is to focus on engaging corporate supporters. This is an ideal leadership opportunity for those passionate about SCO’s mission and seeking an opportunity to engage in the important work we do.

Membership Benefits

  • Entrepreneurial opportunity to raise meaningful dollars in support of New York’s under-served children, families and individuals with special needs.
  • Ability to meet, mingle, and work with like-minded peers throughout the New York City metropolitan area.
  • Exclusive access to volunteer opportunities and fundraising events.
  • Networking and collaboration with SCO’s Board of Directors, and hands-on and experiential training for future Board membership.

What are a Council member’s characteristics and responsibilities?

Council members should have the capacity to expand SCO’s base of champions, help position SCO positively in their work and personal networks, and help leverage the following:

  • Passion for SCO’s mission and work in the community
  • A connection to resources in the business community/corporate realm
  • Has the capacity and willingness to make meaningful donations in support of our work
  • Internship/volunteer/mentorship opportunities for SCO young adults
  • A connection to individuals who may want to plan and/or support an SCO fundraising events/make a donation
  • Membership on a NYC or Long Island-based fundraising event committee
  • Host for cultivation events
  • Identify honorees for Special Events

How can I get involved?
Contact Janice Da Silva at (516) 953-1875 or jdasilva@sco.org to learn more about this opportunity.

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

Center for Family Life Helps Areliz Build a Brighter Future

"I'm doing this to provide for my kids...for everything that they deserve." Learn More

96%

of 12th graders in SCO's Family Foster Care program graduated high school, with 65% enrolled in post-secondary education

Last year,

97%

of children in our early education centers met or exceeded national mathematics performance standards