Fatu’s Story

At 19, Fatu’s future looks bright. She plans to go to Monroe College in the fall to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer. She’s currently going to school and working full-time as a paralegal at Queens Defenders, which provides free services to low-income people. Not long ago, she was a recipient of those services.

You see, the future did not always look so bright for Fatu. When she came to live in one of SCO’s residences for youth in foster care in 2018, she had had a difficult childhood, and she’d been in trouble with the law.

When Fatu was 12, her mother returned to their native Liberia with her younger brother, leaving Fatu with an abusive family friend in Queens. She eventually ran away, joined a gang and got into trouble.

When she first came to SCO, Fatu was confrontational with staff and other residents. But despite her rocky start at her new home, SCO staff has been behind her since day one. They encouraged her to further her education and pursue her GED. They showed her the right way to do things, and most of all, they showed her they cared.

Fatu’s former Queens Defenders lawyer, Anthony Martone, played a pivotal role in her turnaround. He saw her potential and went the extra mile to help her by initiating an internship program at the firm for past clients who’ve been through the juvenile justice system. Fatu was the first intern and became the first full-time hire from the program.

Fatu is positive, respectful, and focused. She loves her job and it has inspired her to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.

Her turnaround has been nothing short of miraculous, and it serves as an inspiration to other youth. Fatu is living proof of what is possible with a positive attitude, hard work, perseverance, and the help of caring adults who never stop believing in you.

See Fatu’s story in THE CITY.

(Photo: Ben Fractenberg-THE CITY)

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Early Head Start

Early Head Start provides high quality childcare and parenting support to pregnant women and families with infants and toddlers. Through center and home-based services, we promote healthy prenatal outcomes and focus on healthy development and school readiness for infants and toddlers. Families are able to take part in parenting workshops and receive health and nutrition information. Early Head Start is provided by our FirstStepNYC Early Childhood Center.

Success Stories

Tanisha

“Tanisha” is a wonderful young lady who has been in SCO’s Foster Care program since 2014. Having excelled academically, Tanisha was assigned an SCO College Specialist to help her apply for colleges, financial aid, scholarships, grants and other educational supports. Last fall, Tanisha was accepted into Hunter College where she… Learn More

Fatu’s Story

Changing Her Trajectory

At 19, Fatu’s future looks bright. She plans to go to Monroe College in the fall to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer. Learn More

85%

of residents in our group homes for adults with developmental disabilities attended Day Habilitation and receive vocational services

90%

of residents in our NYC shelters were successfully discharged to stable housing

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