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.

 

← Back

Robert J. McMahon Children’s Center

The Robert J. McMahon Children’s Center (RJMCC) in Nassau County, Long Island serves children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. RJMCC includes a Residential Treatment Center, which provides 24-hour nursing care, social services and a variety of therapies that help them unlock their potential and achieve as much independence as their abilities allow. Residents of RJMCC attend the Tyree Learning Center, a New York State certified special education school designed to accommodate the children’s needs.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Children and adolescents in foster care, or referred by the Committee on Special Education (CSE), with significant developmental disabilities who need 24/7 care.

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Age 5-21, IQ < 50; must have been placed at the RJMCC through social services or through CSE

How to Access this Program or Service

Through Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), county LDSS foster care services, or through Committee on Special Education

Success Stories

Declan’s Forever Family

"Adopting Declan was life-changing. You felt the ground shift." 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,

188

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

Last year, we helped

418

adults become employed heads of households