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.

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.

Click here for IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATES from SCO

← Back

Fathers’ Program

SCO’s Fathers’ Program helps fathers reconnect with their children and develop essential parenting skills through classes, workshops, and support groups – plus special events for the whole family. The program provides a supportive environment where fathers can feel safe to share their concerns and learn from one another. This program is designed for non-custodial fathers in partnership with the Department of Youth and Community Development.

Parenting skills classes, individual and family counseling, case management, anger management classes, domestic violence prevention classes, parent advocacy, child support & visitation assistance; educational & employment counseling; Father-to-Father mentoring; family budgeting; and mediation & conflict resolution training.

Awards

2018 & 2019 Best Fatherhood Program – New York City’s Department for Youth and Community Development and the 2019 Brooklyn Defender Services Award.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Non-custodial fathers who need parenting, anger management or domestic violence classes and case management support.

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Non-custodial fathers in Brooklyn with one or more children under 18

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program director at 917-966-4620

 

This program is associated with...

A Vibrant Brownsville

Brownsville, Brooklyn is a vibrant, evolving, and unique neighborhood; and SCO is proud of our partnership with the community for over three decades.  Read More

Related News

Dads Celebrating Moms

June 5, 2018

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

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

Last year,

97%

of children in our early education centers met or exceeded national literacy performance standards

Last year, we placed

1,470

youth in employment, subsidized employment or internships

Stay in the loop

Subscribe to the SCO Newsletter to hear the latest on SCO’s programs, people, and happenings.