Manuel’s Story

Manuel is a man with a plan. He loves to cook and aspires to be a chef at a 5-star restaurant one day. Until then, he hones his skills at home preparing his children’s favorite meals each week. A hard-working, single father of three teenagers, ‘family first’ is his mantra and guiding force through good times and bad.

When a series of unfortunate events caused Manuel to lose his job, fall behind in rent, and eventually lose his apartment, he worried about his kids, he worried for himself; he needed to find a way to keep his family together.

Manuel and his children moved into SCO’s Flushing Family Residence in Brooklyn to help him get back on his feet. Manuel recalls, “They gave us a second chance at life. SCO provided me with a roof over my head, access to food pantries, and even provided us with fun and recreation that lifted our spirits.”

While at the shelter, the family received counseling, housing services, and family support services to ease the transition. Manuel laid out a clear path for his family. His goal was to “find us a home, build a foundation, and get the kids in school.” He wasted no time in setting that plan in action. Manuel found steady employment working at a men’s shelter, which he recalls “opened my eyes and pushed me to want to be better and do better for my family.” Staff helped Manuel find an apartment suitable for his large family and their cat Patrick, who had been living with a friend. And all three children settled into their new schools and new life.

“SCO is heaven sent,” exclaimed Manuel. “I am able to do more for my family now and live a productive life.”

Fadwa’s Story

To say Fadwa is driven is an understatement. She doesn’t dream of becoming a surgical nurse, she is actively taking steps to make it happen. And to make her mother proud.

Fadwa lost her mother to cancer when she was just 13 years old. Her father expected Fadwa to assume her mother’s responsibilities and moved the family often, keeping them distanced from any extended family. She was not allowed to have friends or participate in extracurricular activities. She attended five different high schools and managed to maintain excellent grades while she cooked, cleaned, and took care of her two brothers and father.

At 17, she was abandoned by her father and placed in SCO’s foster care program. SCO helped stabilize the teen, placed her with a foster family, and eventually was able to locate a maternal aunt who opened her heart and home to her long-lost niece through kinship foster care.

Despite her early challenges, Fadwa stays focused on the opportunities ahead of her. SCO’s foster care staff helped her prepare for college; guiding her through the application process and helping her achieve both a Dream USA Scholarship and a Youth in Foster Care Award.  Currently a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College, SCO helped her secure an internship with a surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Fadwa’s goal is to keep her GPA high enough to get into nursing school. And we have no doubt she will achieve this and so much more.

 

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Morris Koppelman Early Childhood Center

The Morris Koppelman Early Childhood Center offers a year-round, full day academic program in a safe and engaging environment for children ages 2.9 months to 5 years of age, including UPK and 3K for All. Literacy and math activities help children gain the skills for future school success. A wide array of physical activities and outdoor play help children develop strength, balance and motor skills. Art, music and drama round out the day. All children receive healthy and nutritious meals each day – breakfast, lunch and snack

Our programs support English, dual-language learners, and children with IEPs. Families are engaged to become active partners in supporting their child’s language development.

This program is associated with...

A Vibrant Brownsville

Brownsville, Brooklyn is a vibrant, evolving, and unique neighborhood; and SCO is proud of our partnership with the community for over three decades.  Read More

Success Stories

Manuel’s Story

Homeless Services & Family Support

“SCO is heaven sent. I am able to do more for my family now and live a productive life.” - Manuel Learn More

Fadwa’s Story

Foster Care and Education

“I’m going to be successful regardless of what I’ve been through." Learn More

Last year,

106

children were adopted by loving forever families

148

students in our transfer high schools who were at risk of dropping out graduated with a Regents diploma