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.

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Independence Inns

Located in Brooklyn and Queens, Independence Inns provide shelter and support for young people who are experiencing homelessness or have run away. Our staff helps residents finish school and acquire skills that will prepare them to be self-sufficient. Several of our Independence Inns serve young woman and their children.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Young men and women who are runaway or homeless

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Young men and women who have already reached the age of 16, but are not yet 21 years old

How to Access this Program or Service

You can access this service by visiting a Drop-In Center and/or youth crisis shelter in New York City (within the DYCD continuum). Or contact DYCD Youth Connect at 800-246-4646 or 646-343-6800

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

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

Cathy Armstrong

"I love working with the children and helping make their holidays and graduations special." Learn More

340

young adults served by SCO are in college this academic year

368

participants in our Young Adult Workforce Program at Rikers Island completed our program to become licensed drivers to improve their employability