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.

 

Selena’s Story

Selena first came to SCO’s Scattered Site Supportive Housing Program, in August 2017. This program provides housing and transitional services for young adults who have been in foster care and are at-risk of homelessness. Selena, who had been in foster care since age 9, was dealing with a lot of family and personal issues. She was feeling frustrated and depressed. The tipping point came when her biological father passed away.

As a way to help cope with her loss, Selena decided to write a book about her experience. She hoped sharing her experience might inspire others…turning her personal tragedy into something positive. Ever resourceful, Selena wrote her entire book on her cell phone and uploaded it onto Amazon where it is currently sold as a Kindle format e-book.

Selena’s entrepreneurial spirit had been unleashed. Following her book, Selena developed her own podcast where she talks about life issues and how she has dealt with them in the hopes of motivating others. Since establishing her podcast last year, she has attracted over 20,000 followers worldwide.

She didn’t stop there. Selena then decided that she wanted to sell merchandise with inspirational messages. She started her own online t-shirt company – printing, packaging and shipping orders out of her apartment.

Selena has found her calling. She has found healing through sharing her story and inspiring others and she has experienced personal growth in the process.

SCO staff are encouraging her to utilize her abilities and resilience to pursue her education. In doing so, Selena will be able to use her knowledge to promote and expand her budding enterprises and find other employment opportunities to help her as she transitions to independent living.

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CFL Community School at PS 503/506

Community School • After School • Summer Camp • Beacon

CFL has partnered with PS 503/506 to bring the Community School model to Sunset Park. As a Community School, PS 503/506 is a neighborhood hub where students receive high-quality academic instruction, families can access social services, and the community comes together to share resources and address their common challenges. Center for Family Life’s school-based programs use social group work methodology and purposeful activities to involve participants in group experiences that promote individual growth, support family life, and create a sense of community.

We offer a five-day-a-week School Age Child Care/After School Program for children in elementary school. All children in the program receive a daily snack, academic enrichment /homework assistance and weekly instruction in creative/visual arts, performing arts, literacy, and sports/games. Our after school programs are an essential resource for working families, engaging children in consistent group and community-building activities that promote social, physical, academic, artistic, and leadership development during out-of-school hours.

A six-week Summer Day Camp for children ages 5- 13 provides 3 days of onsite activities in visual and performing arts and literacy, as well as 2 days of educational, cultural, and recreational field trips. Special events include theme days and an all-camp final show for parents and the community.

Youth Leadership/Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program for youth ages 14 and older, offers volunteer work experiences, training, and academic and personal support, while providing a context in which teenagers and younger children can enjoy the mutual benefits of intergenerational relationships.  Our Parent Involvement Program offers family nights, special events, a sewing group, cultural outings, and volunteer support.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Families with children seeking after school, school-age child care and summer day camps, service learning and youth leadership activities, job-readiness and youth employment, indoor/outdoor Neighborhood Centers, and parent, family and community special events, as well as in-school partnerships with teachers and students at Sunset Park High School and MS 136/MS 821

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

After school and day camp: 5-13.  CIT: 14 and older

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program at 718.439.5986

Success Stories

Fadwa’s Story

Foster Care and Education

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

Selena’s Story

Creating Opportunities

Selena has found her calling. She has found healing through sharing her story and inspiring others and she has experienced personal growth in the process. Learn More

Last year,

188

youth and adults with special needs participated in volunteer projects in their community

We help

2,000

children get ready for kindergarten