Ross’ Story

Ross, a former student at SCO’s Westbrook Preparatory School, is a motivated and engaging young man who has Asperger syndrome. “I’m actually different from many people with Asperger’s in that I’m a very social guy,” says Ross. “On the other hand, sometimes I am unaware of other people’s feelings. I can be impulsive, and I do get overwhelmed. ”

Ross had difficulty adapting at his previous public school due to these challenges. However, Westbrook’s residential school setting gave Ross the opportunity to work on his social skills and develop strategies to help him avoid feeling overwhelmed.

One key element of life at Westbrook is the internship program. While students find comfort and build confidence living and learning with other teens who have similar challenges, they know that they need to prepare themselves to communicate and work well with all kinds of people. Ross’s first internship was at Sports Authority, and he held another at St. Brigid’s Elementary School Camp where he found talking with children about sports very rewarding.

His interest in sports led Ross to his next internship at WCWP 88.1 FM, the college radio station at CW Post. He ran the audio control sound board at sporting events, made guest appearances on a college sports talk show and researched sports information for use on air. He enjoyed his experience so much that he decided to study communications in college.

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CFL Co-op, Business Development

The CFL Cooperative Development Program (CDP) organizes community members to create worker-owned cooperative businesses with the mission of economic and social justice. Through CFL’s holistic, neighborhood-rooted approach, CDP:

  • Builds leadership and coaches cooperative members and community organizations
  • Cultivates relationships to strengthen the cooperative movement
  • Generates and shares best practices and models for cooperative growth

Since 2006, CDP has incubated and supported more than 15 cooperative businesses, including Si Se Puede/We Can Do It cleaning, Beyond Care childcare, Golden Steps elder care, Émigré Gourmet catering, Trusty Amigos dog walking and pet care, Maharlika office cleaning, Sunset Scholars tutoring, and NannyBee childcare.

Resources

For a full list of CFL-supported cooperatives, access our 2019 Cooperative Business Directory. 

Interested in starting a worker cooperative? Fill out this brief form to receive our Cooperative Startup Guides.

To receive updates from the CFL Cooperative Development Program, sign up for our newsletter.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Immigrant and low-income workers who want to create new pathways to economic stability and opportunities for leadership

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program at 718.633.4823, coopdevelopment@sco.org.

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

Kaitlyn & Khamion

Early Education & Family Support Services

“I love this school. Sometimes I felt like giving up, but Kaitlyn was always my motivation.” Learn More

Ross’ Story

Westbrook Preparatory School

“I’m actually different from many people with Asperger’s in that I’m a very social guy” Learn More

96%

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

We shelter

5,500

youth, adults and children