Kaitlyn’s Story

If you asked Kaitlyn years ago about how her experience at SCO’s Madonna Heights would help her grow, she wouldn’t have had an answer. Kaitlyn’s painful childhood meant being in and out of hospitals, group homes, and residential programs starting at just 8 years old. After her 16th birthday, she arrived at SCO’s Madonna Heights campus feeling angry, defiant, untrusting, and alone. Her struggle persisted – until everything changed for the better.

According to Kaitlyn, every single person she encountered at Madonna Heights made her feel human, loved, important, safe, and secure. She thrived for two years living on the Madonna Heights campus with a new support system focused on helping her achieve her personal, emotional, and academic goals. Today, Kaitlyn is overjoyed to use her life experiences to help guide the next generation of young women as a Youth Advocate at Madonna Heights.

Kaitlyn’s journey gave her the knowledge and insight to show people that no one is alone, to encourage them to advocate for themselves and to guide them on the path to finding their self-worth.

“Knowing my story can influence the story of another young girl which inspires me to give back,” said Kaitlyn.

 

 

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Individual Residential Alternatives (IRA)

Individual Residential Alternatives (IRAs) are homes and apartments of 10 or fewer residents that focus on promoting independence and preparing adults with developmental disabilities to become productive members of their communities. These programs provide a nurturing environment in a home-like setting that allows each individual to achieve his or her potential. Individual Residential Alternatives are located in Brooklyn, Queens, and on Long Island.

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Last year,

188

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

Last year,

97%

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