Jasmine’s Story

I entered foster care at 16 years old and was placed in the home of “Aunt” Nessa, as I liked to call her. Few people knew of my situation; it was our little secret. I was embarrassed by the family dysfunction that led me to this strange place in my life, and with the support of my SCO caseworkers, I realized that education was my way out.

My goal was to attend Spelman College. I faced some naysayers; guidance counselors who said it was too expensive, others who felt I would never get in. But my SCO caseworkers and staff supported my decision. They stayed on top of me, making sure I filled out every document and scholarship. It was the staff’s unwavering support and positive reinforcement that sustained me.

I was accepted to Spelman with scholarships from several organizations as well as financial support from SCO’s education and permanency program, which helped me afford my housing.

But that was just the start of my journey. During summer break, I earned an internship volunteering with foster youth and their families through AmeriCorps that changed my life. I didn’t want any special treatment, so no one at my job was aware of my status as a foster youth. But as I worked in the family visiting room, much like a fly on the wall, I watched young people about my age visiting with the children they had lost custody of, some pregnant again. I saw a vicious cycle happening before my eyes.

It was that summer I realized that as a woman of color, as a foster youth, and as a human being who just cares, it would be a disservice if I didn’t take advantage of my unique pairing of lived experiences and desire to affect change.

Today, I am at Teachers College Columbia University earning my Masters in Clinical Psychology on a full scholarship, so that I, too, can be a source of support for youth in need.

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East New York Middle School of Excellence

Community School • After School • Summer Camp

During the pandemic, SCO offers Virtual After School programming for students living in Brooklyn. SCO’s Virtual After School Program at East New York Middle School of Excellence offers online homework assistance and weekly instruction in visual arts, theater and storytelling, STEM, dance and fitness, group games and recreation, restorative circles and youth leadership for students in grades 6-8. The program allows students to engage in activities that enrich their education, foster their academic achievement, and prepare them for future success. Our online program features live and recorded activities that allow students to participate at their convenience. The After School Program is an essential resource for working families, providing a safe and enriching environment during out-of-school hours. Those interested in in-person services should contact the program director for further information and updates.

SCO’s Summer Camp at East New York Middle School of Excellence provides a safe and engaging summer experience, where children can develop academic, creative and artistic abilities through art, music, film, dance and sports. Our camps equip young people with leadership development, character building, recreation, and academic enrichment, including STEM and literacy programs. On-site activities are combined with cultural, educational and recreational trips throughout New York City. The program is open to students in grades 6-8.

East New York Middle School of Excellence is a designated Community School that has partnered with SCO Family of Services to create a center for enriching, supportive, and inclusive activities that bring together children, teens, and adults from the community.  As a Community School, ENYMSE is a neighborhood hub where students receive high-quality academic instruction, families can access social services, and the community comes together to share resources and address their common challenges. This holistic approach supports the social, emotional, physical and academic needs of students and creates a school environment where students, parents, faculty, and community groups work as partners to achieve stronger educational outcomes.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Students of ENYMSE

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

6th-8th graders

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program director at 718-688-6375 x3004 or 347-525-5647

 

Success Stories

Jasmine’s Story

From Foster Care to Advocate

Today, I am at Teachers College Columbia University earning my Masters in Clinical Psychology on a full scholarship, so that I, too, can be a source of support for youth in need. Learn More

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

4 out of 5

young adults (21+) at our Residential Treatment Center for youth with developmental disabilities participate in Day Habilitation or are enrolled in school

99%

of at-risk families throughout Brooklyn & Queens remained together and stable with family support services

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