Fatu’s Story

At 19, Fatu’s future looks bright. She plans to go to Monroe College in the fall to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer. She’s currently going to school and working full-time as a paralegal at Queens Defenders, which provides free services to low-income people. Not long ago, she was a recipient of those services.

You see, the future did not always look so bright for Fatu. When she came to live in one of SCO’s residences for youth in foster care in 2018, she had had a difficult childhood, and she’d been in trouble with the law.

When Fatu was 12, her mother returned to their native Liberia with her younger brother, leaving Fatu with an abusive family friend in Queens. She eventually ran away, joined a gang and got into trouble.

When she first came to SCO, Fatu was confrontational with staff and other residents. But despite her rocky start at her new home, SCO staff has been behind her since day one. They encouraged her to further her education and pursue her GED. They showed her the right way to do things, and most of all, they showed her they cared.

Fatu’s former Queens Defenders lawyer, Anthony Martone, played a pivotal role in her turnaround. He saw her potential and went the extra mile to help her by initiating an internship program at the firm for past clients who’ve been through the juvenile justice system. Fatu was the first intern and became the first full-time hire from the program.

Fatu is positive, respectful, and focused. She loves her job and it has inspired her to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.

Her turnaround has been nothing short of miraculous, and it serves as an inspiration to other youth. Fatu is living proof of what is possible with a positive attitude, hard work, perseverance, and the help of caring adults who never stop believing in you.

See Fatu’s story in THE CITY.

(Photo: Ben Fractenberg-THE CITY)

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Intermediate Care Facilities

Located in Queens, our Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) are residences with 24-hour care for individuals with developmental disabilities that provide the highest level of care outside of a skilled nursing facility. A caring staff, including psychologists, nurses and clinicians attend to their physical, emotional, and educational needs. The individuals receive speech, occupational, and physical therapies, and enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities. They are also trained in all areas of daily living skills, with the goal of making each person as independent as possible.

Success Stories

Carlos’ Story

Carlos (pronoun they, their, them) is an amazing youth who was placed in SCO’s Family Foster Care program over 10 years ago. Carlos has undergone several hardships in their young life, however, they are a resilient youth who has remained focused on their schoolwork. Carlos graduated high school with high… Learn More

Fatu’s Story

Changing Her Trajectory

At 19, Fatu’s future looks bright. She plans to go to Monroe College in the fall to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer. Learn More

Last year, we placed

1,470

youth in employment, subsidized employment or internships

Almost

90%

of clients at our Brooklyn Youth Center achieved their employment goals

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