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.

 

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.

 

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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, the Brightly, cleaning cooperatives and Up & Go.

Resources

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

Interested in starting a worker cooperative?

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

Interested in learning about the Brightly Cooperative Franchise Model or CFL Cooperative Development Model? Watch these short webinars below. 

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

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

Fadwa’s Story

Foster Care and Education

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

We help

4,100

people with special needs develop skills to reach their full potential

Last year, we placed

1,470

youth in employment, subsidized employment or internships

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