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.

 

 

 

 

Kelly’s Story

Kelly lives on a quiet tree-lined street with her husband, two sons, and an energetic puppy named Molly. Life is pretty good these days. In her own words, she has a decent job, a home, a car, and a supportive family – all things she never thought possible before entering SCO’s Morning Star residential program for women recovering from substance use.

Since the age of 13, Kelly had been hooked on alcohol. For the next 10 years, she struggled with severe alcoholism, heroin addiction, and all the terrible symptoms that go along with that. She tried every which way to control her use but failed over and over again. Institutions, hospitals, and psychiatric facilities became a normal part of life. At the age of 23, Kelly realized she was running out of options. She had no place to live, was unemployable, and had no way to provide for herself or her 4-year-old son, Joseph. That’s when she found SCO.

Kelly was 35 days sober for the first time in her adult life when she entered SCO’s residential program. This would be the first of many pivotal firsts. While in program, she learned about accountability and structure. She was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous and attended off site treatment programs. She felt supported and heard by the women and staff at Morning Star and thrived in this environment.

Little by little, Kelly rebuilt her life. With the help of vocational counselors, she returned to school, received her high school diploma, and took clerical courses. She was thrilled when Joseph came to live with her on campus, working with SCO’s coaches and childcare team to hone her parenting skills. And she addressed her past traumas head on with mental health counseling at SCO’s Family Services Clinic.

Kelly credits her time in Morning Star as life-changing. She has been gainfully employed since leaving the program in 2012 and now works for a successful law firm. She found her soulmate in Rob and was married in 2015, and expanded her family with another son, Aidan, a few years later. She likes to say she is a work in progress – and we know there are plenty of firsts still ahead for Kelly.

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Madonna Heights Group Residence

The Madonna Heights Group Residence offers trauma informed gender responsive care specific to the unique needs and issues of adolescent girls.

Located in a campus setting, the residence provides  24-hour residential care and a wide range of therapeutic services to support the girls and their families in their emotional, behavioral and social healing and growth. The program responds to a variety of behaviors typically displayed by girls including; truancy, school anxiety, mental health issues of anxiety, depression, mood disorders, self-directed violence, peer conflicts, family discord, sexual exploitation and runaway behaviors and trauma.

The youth in residence attend the Madonna Heights School, a fully accredited New York State Regents junior/senior high school located on the same campus.

The Group Residence offers traditional residential placements, short term 30-90 day placements and diagnostic placements.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Female adolescents struggling with a variety of issues: truancy , school anxiety, depression, mood disorders, self-directed violence, peer conflicts, family discord, sexual exploitation and runaway behaviors and trauma

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

12-17 years of age, IQ 70, secondary school

How to Access this Program or Service

Referrals are accepted from; Long Island School Districts; NYC Board of Education; Nassau and Suffolk Department of Social Services; Nassau and Suffolk Family Court Probation; Office of Children and Family Services

 

This program is associated with...

Madonna Heights

Providing an environment that teaches, strengthens and encourages young and adult women to heal from trauma. Read More

Related News

Success Stories

Kaitlyn’s Story

From struggling to thriving, Kaitlyn shares personal growth experience at Madonna Heights with others

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

Kelly’s Story

A life rebuilt, with the help of Morning Star

Kelly credits her time in Morning Star as life-changing. Learn More

Children in our NYC shelters had a

96%

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5,400

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