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)

Alayah’s Story

Alayah was always curious. When she saw something, she wouldn’t just take it at face value. She wanted to learn more. “How does that work?” “Why did that happen?” “What makes it do that?”

Her inquisitive nature was one of the traits that made her such a good student. She loves to learn and always has.

Growing up in Philadelphia, Alayah was at the top of her class. When she moved to New York, however, she risked having to repeat her junior year because some of her credits did not transfer.

Determined to graduate on time with her class, Alayah transferred to SCO’s East Brooklyn Community High School (EBCHS.) East Brooklyn is a transfer high school in partnership with SCO Family of Services and the New York City Department of Education. Students there can earn credits at an accelerated rate, so Alayah was able to earn her remaining junior credits and all of her senior credits in the same academic year.

Upon her arrival at EBCHS, Alayah had one goal: Go to college. She wanted to be the first in her family to go to college and she was determined to make it happen.

In the Spring of her senior year, Alayah’s EBCHS Advocate Counselor told her about a college scholarship available through Garden of Dreams, the Inspire Scholarship, and it’s substantial – $40,000 ($10,000 per year for four years) and a brand-new MacBook.

The Garden of Dreams Foundation is a non-profit organization that works with MSG Entertainment and MSG Sports to bring life-changing opportunities to young people in need. SCO Family of Services is one of their partner organizations.

When Alayah learned about the Garden of Dreams Inspire Scholarship, she jumped at the opportunity to apply. With a little help from her English teacher and a letter of recommendation from the EBCHS School Director, Alayah submitted her application.

Immersed in finishing out her senior year and applying to a myriad of colleges, Alayah received an email that she received a Garden of Dreams Inspire Scholarship! It was, in her words, an “Oh, my God! What a relief!” moment.

It really should come as no surprise. Her insatiable desire for knowledge made her the perfect candidate.

Alayah’s drive to go to college paid off. She was accepted into 16 colleges. Sixteen! In the end, Alayah chose North Carolina A&T University. It’s an excellent school and the people she talked to had great things to say about it.

Alayah plans to Major in Biology on the Pre-Med track, with a Minor in Psychology. She’d love to get into a top medical school and become a surgeon one day. She grew up helping to take care of people. It’s in her blood.

Alayah has set her goals high, but with her talent, drive and determination, she’s destined to achieve them all.

Congratulations, Alayah!

Holiday Giving 2022

 

Below are ways to provide support:

1. Make a financial contribution to enable us to purchase gifts to bring holiday cheer to the individuals and families we serve.

2. Visit our registries by clicking the links below to order gifts and have them shipped directly to: SCO Development Office, 151 Burrs Lane, Dix Hills, NY 11746.

Target
Amazon
Walmart

3. Purchase gift cards to Target, Amazon, Walmart, Bath & Body Works, Starbuck’s, Dunkin’, Restaurants, etc. to give to those in need and send them to: SCO Development Office, 151 Burrs Lane, Dix Hills, NY 11746.

4. Purchase gifts and deliver them to SCO’s Program Support Center located at 151 Burrs Lane, Dix Hills, NY. Click here for our holiday giving flyer for gift ideas or visit our registries.

5. Adopt a program. Call 631-213-0165 to find out how you, your business, or your community group can adopt one of our programs for the holidays.

6. Shop AmazonSmile. Shop at smile.amazon.com and 0.5% of eligible purchases will be donated to SCO Family of Services—no fees, no extra cost. Sign up at smile.amazon.com and select SCO Family of Services. Same products, same prices, same services as the Amazon you know.

7. Like us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Connect with us on social media and see how we are making a difference every day.

Happy Holidays From Our Family To Yours!

Fatu’s Story

Changing her trajectory - anything is possible when others believe in you

Her turnaround has been nothing short of miraculous, and it serves as an inspiration to other youth. Learn More

Alayah’s Story

Next Stop, College! Alayah O’Sullivan - East Brooklyn Community High School Class of 2022

She wanted to be the first in her family to go to college and she was determined to make it happen. Learn More

91%

of babies in our Nurse Family Partnership were current with immunizations at 24 months

We help

1,100

children and young adults through foster care programs

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