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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Family Supports – Bushwick

SCO partners with families to prevent crises and enhance family well-being. Through supportive counseling, parent support groups, connection to community resources and advocacy, we help families strengthen relationships and develop resources to solve problems. These efforts have been successful at reducing foster care placements and accelerating family reunification when a placement was unavoidable.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Families in need of parenting support and help finding resources to strengthen their families / families with involvement with Administration for Children’s Services due to alleged abuse or neglect.

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Families who are pregnant or with children under 18 in Brooklyn CDs 4, 5, 16

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program director at 718-455-2300

 

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

East Brooklyn Community High School Students Reflect on Graduation Day

"They're your backbone, they help you and support you no matter what you do in life." Learn More

3

new locations for our Day Habilitation program are helping 40% more adults with developmental disabilities attain higher levels of socialization and independence

Last year,

188

youth and adults with special needs participated in volunteer projects in their community