Shana’s Story

I have been challenged with addiction for 10 years, and have been in and out of outpatient treatment and detox several times – but I would always relapse.

When I arrived at Morning Star, I was at the lowest point in my life. Things were spiraling out of control. My four children had been taken from me and placed in foster care with a family member. And then I learned that I was 5 months pregnant.

I arrived with the worst attitude in the world. I was just so angry all the time. But at Morning Star, I started to reflect and gain clarity. I realized that I was hurt and angry with myself. And that’s when the healing began. Everything had been a fight up to that point. But I had nowhere to run – I had to face my problems.

Morning Star helped save my life. They never gave up on me.

Every interaction with my counselor and every staff member helped prepare me to re-enter the world clean and ready to thrive.

I attended treatment 5 days a week, attended a medical assistant program, and became certified in a workforce development program for nontraditional roles for women. And I learned that I am worth it! From now on, I show up, set up, and remain teachable.

When my baby, Liliana, was born, I can’t express how much the onsite child care at Morning Star II helped in my recovery. It made it possible for me to go to treatment, attend school, and focus on me. The structure kept me accountable for being a parent and prepared e for the real world.

I knew I was finally on a path to a better life when I left Morning Star. The court saw the improvements in me, too, and my children came back home to me. I never thought that would happen. Today, thanks to Morning Star, I have a home and my family lives under one roof.

I still visit the program to let them know of my progress. My goal is to be fully self-supported. I know there will be obstacles ahead of me. But I am prepared to take it one day at a time.

Wilson’s Story

You don’t always know you have a gift. People said Wilson was special for solving a Rubik’s cube in under a minute. He just thought he was good at puzzles. People said he had amazing confidence on the piano for a five-year-old. He just thought music was fun. His experience at Westbrook Preparatory School taught him that people can have many gifts-and that discovering them within yourself can change every aspect of your life.

Before attending Westbrook, life was different for Wilson at school, where he felt lost, misunderstood, uninterested, and socially out of place. He was down on his luck, longing for focus, friendships, fun, and rediscovering his confidence playing the piano. At Westbrook, Wilson formed new friendships and rediscovered his strength and confidence to excel in both the academic and social worlds.

The nurturing environment at Westbrook continues to drive momentous goals for Wilson – from helping him thrive in school, to preparing him for a successful future career. Wilson landed a position as an IT intern, enabling him to continue following his passion for technology.

Today, he is playing the piano with full confidence, challenging himself with pieces of Chopin and Wagner. He excels in his classes, loves taking part in sports such as the student-staff football competition, and has rediscovered an interest in exciting and eye-opening subjects including computers, cooking, and chess.

“Thanks to SCO Family of Services and Westbrook Preparatory School for being part of my success story,” said Wilson.

YouTube Link

Wilson playing Billy Joel on the piano.

 

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Juvenile Justice Initiative – Queens

The Juvenile Justice Initiative (JJI) works intensively with youth adjudicated as juvenile delinquents and their families in their homes to ensure youth remain at home, attend school, and participate in pro-social behaviors.  JJI therapists are trained in evidence-based Multi-Systemic Therapy, and are supported by the MST Institute through training and consultation by highly trained experts. This program helps our youth to find suitable educational, pro-social and after-school activities that are proven to help offenders focus on positive life choices, which in turn prevents delinquent behavior.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Youth adjudicated as juvenile delinquents and their families to prevent out-of-home placement

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Age 12-17.5

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact: Maria McQuade – Program Director, mmcquade@sco.org, 718.739.1660 ext. 24

Success Stories

Shana’s Story

Family First

Morning Star helped save my life. They never gave up on me. Learn More

Wilson’s Story

You don’t always know you have a gift.

“Thanks to SCO Family of Services and Westbrook Preparatory School for being part of my success story,” said Wilson. Learn More

We shelter

4,600

youth, adults and children

91%

of women in our residential recovery program remained substance free

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