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SCO News

FirstStepNYC Leadership Institute hosts Early Education Career Panel Dinner

June 20, 2014 / SCO News

The Early Education Leadership Institute at SCO's FirstStepNYC held its first Career Panel Dinner on June 17th  to engage and develop early childhood leaders citywide. Panelists included: Steven Antonelli, Center Director, BankStreet Early Headstart Gail Gordon, Adjunct Faculty at BankStreet and Hunter School of Social Work Sophia Pappas, Executive Director, DOE Division of Early Childhood Education Laura Ensler, Director, FirstStepNYC Leadership Institute Ina Solomon, Education Administrator, Instruction and Performance, DOE Division of Early Childhood Education Helen Frazier, Master Teacher, FirstStepNYC John Borrero, Director of Education and Disabilities, Administration for Children’s Services

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Congrats North Queens Community High School student Rumena Begum

June 16, 2014 / Independent Youth News

“I feel so accomplished. I made it. It’s a happy feeling,” says Rumena Begum, who will graduate from SCO’s North Queens Community High School upon passing her final two Regents exams. Rumena has earned the right to be happy. Not long ago, graduating seemed nearly impossible: After two years of high school, she had earned a grand total of just two credits. Forty-four are needed to graduate. At her old school, Rumena started cutting classes to spend time with her friends. Her attendance was poor. At the pace she was going, she risked not graduating. Then she came to North Queens.

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Congrats East Brooklyn Community High School grad Darren Scott

June 16, 2014 / Independent Youth News

On a recent visit to East Brooklyn Community High School where he graduated in December, Darren Scott, 19, was greeted with hugs and high fives from students and staff. He had become a real leader in the school since arriving in September 2012. In his former high school, Darren got into frequent trouble – fighting, cutting class, being disrespectful to teachers.  One day, Darren’s SCO Family of Services foster care caseworker, Eric Turner, told him about East Brooklyn Community High School, a transfer school run by SCO and the NYC Department of Education. Eric described a school that gives kids like Darren a second chance - a smaller school with a caring staff that gives students who are struggling the opportunity to earn credits faster.

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Joan Kuo, Director of FirstStepNYC at Pre-K Day of Action kickoff

June 16, 2014 / SCO News

Joan Kuo, Director of SCO’s FirstStepNYC early childhood center in Brownsville, Brooklyn speaks at Mayor de Blasio’s Pre-K Day of Action kickoff at the Department of Education. For more, visit http://sco.org/pre-k.

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Congrats Bronx Arena High School grad Annette Hankins

June 16, 2014 / Independent Youth News

Bronx Arena High School student Annette Hankins will walk across the stage on June 26th to accept her diploma, an astonishing accomplishment. At age 20, Annette lives in an apartment in Soundview with her fiancé, Jason, son Tayvon (4), and daughter Neveah (2) -  and she is pregnant with their third child, due in August. Completing high school while pregnant with two young children would be difficult for most people, impossible for some. But Annette turned her responsibilities into motivation. “It’s not about me, it’s about my kids,” she explained. “I wanted more for them. I wanted them to have what they needed. I knew education was the key.”

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We have pre-K seats available in Brooklyn & Queens!

June 12, 2014 / SCO News

Four of SCO’s Community-Based Early Childhood Centers (CBECC) in Brooklyn and Queens have pre-kindergarten seats available! For more information on securing your child’s spot in one of our free full-day pre-K programs, parents can  contact the individual centers directly using the contact phone numbers below. Parents are urged to apply by June 26th to find the best option for their child.

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CFL 9th Annual Sister Mary Geraldine Symposium

June 10, 2014 / SCO News

Center for Family Life's 9th Annual Mary Geraldine Symposium took place on June 10. The topic of this year's event was Building Community Alliances for Food Justice, focusing our discussion on issues related to equitable access to healthy food in low-income urban communities. The event began with an inspiring keynote address by Karen Washington, urban farmer and social justice activist, who has been a tireless advocate for food justice in her Bronx community. Later, a panel discussion featuring Patrick Curtin from Food Bank for NYC, Kady Ferguson from the Brooklyn Food Coalition, Anna Hammond, from the Sylvia Center, Paula Lukats from Just Food, and John Kixmiller, 64th Street Community Garden Coordinator and former CFL Beacon program director.

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Two teens served by SCO earn top honors at 16th Annual Awards for Youth in Foster Care

June 9, 2014 / Independent Youth News

Christopher Sanchez and Domonique Wheeler, two teens in foster care living in SCO group homes, were among the 15 young people honored at the 16th Annual essay Awards for Youth in Foster Care, presented by Youth Communication and Represent: The Voice of Youth in Care magazine. Christopher Sanchez, 19, was the Grand Prize winner and won a $1,000 scholarship for his essay titled “Turning My Life Around.” Domonique Wheeler, 20, earned Special First Prize honors and a $700 scholarship check for her essay, “For His Own Good.”   

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Valuable Volunteers

June 6, 2014 / SCO News

Major thanks to Deloitte for choosing two SCO program locations as sites for IMPACT Day 2014! 40 Deloitte and SCO staffers joined forces to beautify our Bedford-Stuyvesant community garden outside of MS 35 and our Ottilie campus in Briarwood, Queens. A dozen employees from Target in Levittown painted…

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SCO’s Center for Family Life launches Trusty Amigos Pet Care Cooperative

June 2, 2014 / SCO News

The Trusty Amigos Pet Care Cooperative – New York City’s newest worker co-op – is officially launching its citywide dog walking and pet care service, starting with a meet-and-greet with the cooperative members from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at the flagpole in Sunset Park closest to the entrance at 41st and 6th Ave. The cooperative welcomes the public to stop by, ask questions, get information about rates and services, and enjoy refreshments. Dogs from Sean Casey shelter will be available for adoption during the event.

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Google it!

June 1, 2014 / Independent Youth News

In a specially arranged visit to Google’s NYC headquarters, Madonna Heights students had the chance to learn about branding, technology and innovation. The young women participated in interactive workshops with Google staffers and ate lunch with Google executives and engineers. Next stop, Silicon Valley!…

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Center for Family Life honored with City Council Proclamation

May 29, 2014 / SCO News

The New York City Council honored Center for Family Life on May 29, 2014 with a proclamation recognizing CFL for its outstanding work supporting worker cooperatives in New York City. Vanessa Bransburg, Director of Cooperative Development and Julia Jean-Francois, Co-Director of Center for Family Life represented CFL in a ceremony recognizing nonprofit organizations that are leading NYC's cooperative business development movement.

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National Foster Parent Appreciation Month: SCO Foster Parent Bernice’s Story

May 20, 2014 / SCO News

“My purpose is to help guide these girls to become productive citizens. I introduce them as my Godchildren because God gave me this purpose,” says SCO Foster Parent Bernice Bolden. Bernice has opened her home to foster children for over 20 years. She fosters teenage girls because she knows what a young girl goes through, having lost her own mother at age nine. Five girls currently live with Bernice, or “Momma B.” as they call her, and she brings love, stability and a sense of family for all in her care. She also works with SCO to train new foster parents – teaching them how to deal with different age groups, different situations and teaming with birth parents to raise a child.

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SCO Honors longtime volunteers Laura Gay & Jean Simensky

May 16, 2014 / SCO News

Longtime volunteers Laura Gay and Jean Simensky of Locust Valley, Long Island were honored at SCO Family of Services’ annual Fashion Show at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, LI on May 7, 2014.

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SCO Family of Services awards 2014 Pat Brown Scholarship to Lataysha Moore

May 16, 2014 / Independent Youth News

In her last year of high school, Bushwick senior Lataysha Moore excelled, despite having to cope with a lot more than the usual hurdles involved in graduating and getting into college. In recognition of her achievements, Lataysha was awarded the Pat Brown Scholarship at SCO’s Fashion Show benefit on May 7th. The annual scholarship is given to a young person in an SCO program who has overcome obstacles to achieve academic success.

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Last year,

288

children were reunified with their parents who worked hard preparing for their return home

148

students in our transfer high schools who were at risk of dropping out graduated with a Regents diploma