Alayah’s Story

Alayah was always curious. When she saw something, she wouldn’t just take it at face value. She wanted to learn more. “How does that work?” “Why did that happen?” “What makes it do that?”

Her inquisitive nature was one of the traits that made her such a good student. She loves to learn and always has.

Growing up in Philadelphia, Alayah was at the top of her class. When she moved to New York, however, she risked having to repeat her junior year because some of her credits did not transfer.

Determined to graduate on time with her class, Alayah transferred to SCO’s East Brooklyn Community High School (EBCHS.) East Brooklyn is a transfer high school in partnership with SCO Family of Services and the New York City Department of Education. Students there can earn credits at an accelerated rate, so Alayah was able to earn her remaining junior credits and all of her senior credits in the same academic year.

Upon her arrival at EBCHS, Alayah had one goal: Go to college. She wanted to be the first in her family to go to college and she was determined to make it happen.

In the Spring of her senior year, Alayah’s EBCHS Advocate Counselor told her about a college scholarship available through Garden of Dreams, the Inspire Scholarship, and it’s substantial – $40,000 ($10,000 per year for four years) and a brand-new MacBook.

The Garden of Dreams Foundation is a non-profit organization that works with MSG Entertainment and MSG Sports to bring life-changing opportunities to young people in need. SCO Family of Services is one of their partner organizations.

When Alayah learned about the Garden of Dreams Inspire Scholarship, she jumped at the opportunity to apply. With a little help from her English teacher and a letter of recommendation from the EBCHS School Director, Alayah submitted her application.

Immersed in finishing out her senior year and applying to a myriad of colleges, Alayah received an email that she received a Garden of Dreams Inspire Scholarship! It was, in her words, an “Oh, my God! What a relief!” moment.

It really should come as no surprise. Her insatiable desire for knowledge made her the perfect candidate.

Alayah’s drive to go to college paid off. She was accepted into 16 colleges. Sixteen! In the end, Alayah chose North Carolina A&T University. It’s an excellent school and the people she talked to had great things to say about it.

Alayah plans to Major in Biology on the Pre-Med track, with a Minor in Psychology. She’d love to get into a top medical school and become a surgeon one day. She grew up helping to take care of people. It’s in her blood.

Alayah has set her goals high, but with her talent, drive and determination, she’s destined to achieve them all.

Congratulations, Alayah!

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LGBTQ Residential Program

We offer the only residential program in New York City for young people in care who identify as LGBTQ. Our programs provide 24-hour care in a uniquely affirming and healing environment where all youth are welcome and encour­aged to live authentically in all aspects of their lives.

We operate small home-like settings in Brooklyn and Queens that provide a safe, supportive and nurturing space for these youth as they strive for self-awareness and community, family and school acceptance. Every young person is treated with dignity and respect, and our staff is focused on meeting the unique needs of our youth.

We serve youth 15-21 who are currently in foster care and who come from all five boroughs of New York City, as well as other New York counties.

Success Stories

Alayah’s Story

Next Stop, College! Alayah O’Sullivan - East Brooklyn Community High School Class of 2022

Alayah was always curious. When she saw something, she wouldn’t just take it at face value. She wanted to learn more. “How does that work?” “Why did that happen?” “What makes it do that?” Her inquisitive nature was one of the traits that made her such a good student. She… Learn More

Rachel’s Story

Westbrook Preparatory School

“Attending Westbrook was the first time I felt comfortable with other kids.” Learn More

We help

1,300

children and young adults through foster care programs

We shelter

4,600

youth, adults and children

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