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.

 

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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East New York Middle School of Excellence

Community School • After School • Summer Camp

SCO’s After School Program at East New York Middle School of Excellence offers academic enrichment, homework assistance and weekly instruction in creative/visual arts, performing arts, STEM, literacy, and recreation. Run in partnership with the school, the program provides a safe environment where students engage in activities that enrich their education, foster their academic achievement, and prepare them for future success. Our school-based program is an essential resource for working families, providing a safe and enriching environment during out-of-school hours.

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

 

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

Shana’s Story

Family First

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

Last year,

94%

of children in our early education centers met or exceeded goals for social-emotional development

We help

1,400

children and young adults through foster care programs

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