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.

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CFL at PS 1

After School • Summer Camp

CFL offers a five-day-a-week School Age Child Care/After School Program for children ages 5–13.  All children in the program receive a daily snack, academic enrichment /homework assistance and weekly instruction in creative/visual arts, performing arts, literacy, and sports/games. Our after school programs are an essential resource for working families, engaging children in consistent group and community-building activities that promote social, physical, academic, artistic, and leadership development during out-of-school hours.

A six-week Summer Day Camp for children ages 5-13 provides 3 days of onsite activities in visual and performing arts and literacy, as well as 2 days of educational, cultural, and recreational field trips. Special events include theme days and an all-camp final show for parents and the community.

Youth Leadership/Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program for youth ages 14 and older, offers volunteer work experiences, training, and academic and personal support, while providing a context in which teenagers and younger children can enjoy the mutual benefits of intergenerational relationships.  Our Parent Involvement Program offers family nights, special events, a sewing group, cultural outings, and volunteer support.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Families with children seeking after school, school-age child care and summer day camps, service learning and youth leadership activities, job-readiness and youth employment, indoor/outdoor Neighborhood Centers, and parent, family and community special events, as well as in-school partnerships with teachers and students at Sunset Park High School and MS 136/MS 821

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

After school and day camp: 5-13.  CIT: 14 and older

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program at 718.492.2619

This program is associated with...

Center For Family Life

Our mission is to promote positive outcomes for children, adults and families in Sunset Park through the provision of a comprehensive range of neighborhood-based family and social services. Read More

Success Stories

Brigid & Noah

Adoption

"He's my world." Learn More

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

We shelter

5,500

youth, adults and children

Last year, we helped

418

adults become employed heads of households