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.

Shana’s Story

I have been challenged with addiction for 10 years, and have been in and out of outpatient treatment and detox several times – but I would always relapse.

When I arrived at Morning Star, I was at the lowest point in my life. Things were spiraling out of control. My four children had been taken from me and placed in foster care with a family member. And then I learned that I was 5 months pregnant.

I arrived with the worst attitude in the world. I was just so angry all the time. But at Morning Star, I started to reflect and gain clarity. I realized that I was hurt and angry with myself. And that’s when the healing began. Everything had been a fight up to that point. But I had nowhere to run – I had to face my problems.

Morning Star helped save my life. They never gave up on me.

Every interaction with my counselor and every staff member helped prepare me to re-enter the world clean and ready to thrive.

I attended treatment 5 days a week, attended a medical assistant program, and became certified in a workforce development program for nontraditional roles for women. And I learned that I am worth it! From now on, I show up, set up, and remain teachable.

When my baby, Liliana, was born, I can’t express how much the onsite child care at Morning Star II helped in my recovery. It made it possible for me to go to treatment, attend school, and focus on me. The structure kept me accountable for being a parent and prepared e for the real world.

I knew I was finally on a path to a better life when I left Morning Star. The court saw the improvements in me, too, and my children came back home to me. I never thought that would happen. Today, thanks to Morning Star, I have a home and my family lives under one roof.

I still visit the program to let them know of my progress. My goal is to be fully self-supported. I know there will be obstacles ahead of me. But I am prepared to take it one day at a time.

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Brooklyn Youth Center

Located in Brownsville, the Brooklyn Youth Center provides a wide array of services to run away and homeless youth throughout the borough of Brooklyn. Youth Center staff provide crisis intervention, counseling and mediation as well as services to help youth pursue educational and career goals and develop independent living skills.

We treat all youth and their families with dignity, respect, privacy, and utmost confidentiality. ALL SERVICES ARE FREE. NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY.

Call our Hotline for help:  877-4-DROP-IN • (877-437-6746)   Read our Brochure»

  • Case management
  • Emergency shelter referrals and advocacy for transitional housing
  • Family mediation
  • Mental health
  • Health and substance abuse treatment referrals
  • Hygiene assistance
  • Food and emergency clothing
  • Homeless prevention services
  • Assessment and referrals
  • Youth and family resources
  • Public education and awareness of the NYC DYCD continuum of services for runaway and homeless youth
  • Application assistance for NY/NY III supportive housing

Hours:
Open 24/7

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Young men and women in Brooklyn who are runaway or homeless

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Young men and women who have already reached the age of 14, but are not yet 25 years old

How to Access this Program or Service

Call our Hotline at 877-4-DROP-IN (877-437-6746).  Or call 311/DYCD Youth Connect (1-800-246-4646 or 646-343-6800)

Success Stories

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

Shana’s Story

Family First

Morning Star helped save my life. They never gave up on me. Learn More

148

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

Last year, we placed

2,007

youth in employment, subsidized employment or internships