Fadwa’s Story

To say Fadwa is driven is an understatement. She doesn’t dream of becoming a surgical nurse, she is actively taking steps to make it happen. And to make her mother proud.

Fadwa lost her mother to cancer when she was just 13 years old. Her father expected Fadwa to assume her mother’s responsibilities and moved the family often, keeping them distanced from any extended family. She was not allowed to have friends or participate in extracurricular activities. She attended five different high schools and managed to maintain excellent grades while she cooked, cleaned, and took care of her two brothers and father.

At 17, she was abandoned by her father and placed in SCO’s foster care program. SCO helped stabilize the teen, placed her with a foster family, and eventually was able to locate a maternal aunt who opened her heart and home to her long-lost niece through kinship foster care.

Despite her early challenges, Fadwa stays focused on the opportunities ahead of her. SCO’s foster care staff helped her prepare for college; guiding her through the application process and helping her achieve both a Dream USA Scholarship and a Youth in Foster Care Award.  Currently a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College, SCO helped her secure an internship with a surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Fadwa’s goal is to keep her GPA high enough to get into nursing school. And we have no doubt she will achieve this and so much more.

 

Arjun’s Story

When Arjun joined SCO’s Individual Residential Alternatives program in 2014, his developmental disabilities and behavioral challenges greatly impacted his ability to function. They were so severe that he could not be in crowds, public spaces, and was unable to socialize. There were times when Arjun would refuse to eat meals with his housemates.

With the help and dedication of SCO’s staff, a plan was developed to help Arjun address these challenges and work towards achieving his goals. Last summer, Arjun attended the YMCA Camp Huguenot with his peers where he had a blast doing a variety of activities such as archery, rock climbing and canoeing. The fun did not stop there! After the camping trip, Arjun took a major step forward and drove to Battery Park with his sister and aunt. He entered the car with no hesitation and walked the High Line, went for pizza and drove around Manhattan with his family where he showed almost zero signs of anxiety.

Today, Arjun attends SCO’s community habilitation, partakes in various activities such as volunteering at canned food drives, delivering food to elderly adults, going to the bowling alley, and going to the local church’s gym to play basketball and soccer. Arjun spends quality time with his peers and he is now able to enjoy going out and be among his friends and family. He is also taking road-trips with his parents to Virginia and going on camping trips with his housemates without having anxiety.

Arjun’s breakthrough is the definition of a success story! He continues to thrive, and we are sure that Arjun will continue to work towards more independence and integration into his community.

 

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CFL at Sunset Park High School

After School • Summer Camp • Youth Employment

Sunset Park High School is the neighborhood’s first and only high school, and as a key community partner, the Center provides meaningful supports to the school and its students year round.  SPHS teachers and staff from SCO’s Center for Family Life co-lead advisories and after school programs that enhance the strengths of each student, promote academic excellence and assist in youth employment.

Sunset Park HS teachers and CFL staff co-lead weekly Advisory Partnership groups that promote college readiness and foster inclusiveness and active participation in the school and community. This partnership ensures that every student is known and supported and all members of the school community are engaged in creating a positive school culture.

After School programming combines the resources of the Center’s After School Program, Youth Employment Program and “Life Lines” Community Arts Project with tutoring and clubs led by SPHS teachers to provide a rich menu of academic and arts enrichment, sports and recreation, community service, college readiness and career exploration activities. A five-day a week After-school Arts Program for students in grades 6-12 provides instruction in dance, acting, vocals, percussion, visual arts, and creative writing, along with daily homework assistance, computer access, and academic enrichment.  A High School Internship Program allows high school students to volunteer as intern staff in the after school program two afternoons per week.

The Summer Youth Employment Program offers summer jobs with employers throughout Brooklyn for youth ages 14-24. Worksites include local government agencies, libraries, hospitals and clinics, child care centers, summer day camps, senior centers and nursing homes, community organizations and retail firms.  A six-week Community Arts Summer Day Camp serves youth ages 10-15. Throughout the year, Performing and Visual Arts Troupes provide pre-professional skill development in theater, dance, music and visual art along with leadership training and opportunities for teens to conduct workshops and performances on family and community issues with a variety of populations.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Youth seeking after school, arts programming, summer day camp, and internships in the after school program

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Students in grades 9-12

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program at 718.840.1640

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

Fadwa’s Story

Foster Care and Education

“I’m going to be successful regardless of what I’ve been through." Learn More

Arjun’s Story

Overcoming Challenges to Achieve Personal Growth

With the help and dedication of SCO’s staff, a plan was developed to help Arjun address his challenges and work towards achieving his goals. Learn More

148

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

368

participants in our Young Adult Workforce Program at Rikers Island completed our program to become licensed drivers to improve their employability