Fatu’s Story

At 19, Fatu’s future looks bright. She plans to go to Monroe College in the fall to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer. She’s currently going to school and working full-time as a paralegal at Queens Defenders, which provides free services to low-income people. Not long ago, she was a recipient of those services.

You see, the future did not always look so bright for Fatu. When she came to live in one of SCO’s residences for youth in foster care in 2018, she had had a difficult childhood, and she’d been in trouble with the law.

When Fatu was 12, her mother returned to their native Liberia with her younger brother, leaving Fatu with an abusive family friend in Queens. She eventually ran away, joined a gang and got into trouble.

When she first came to SCO, Fatu was confrontational with staff and other residents. But despite her rocky start at her new home, SCO staff has been behind her since day one. They encouraged her to further her education and pursue her GED. They showed her the right way to do things, and most of all, they showed her they cared.

Fatu’s former Queens Defenders lawyer, Anthony Martone, played a pivotal role in her turnaround. He saw her potential and went the extra mile to help her by initiating an internship program at the firm for past clients who’ve been through the juvenile justice system. Fatu was the first intern and became the first full-time hire from the program.

Fatu is positive, respectful, and focused. She loves her job and it has inspired her to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.

Her turnaround has been nothing short of miraculous, and it serves as an inspiration to other youth. Fatu is living proof of what is possible with a positive attitude, hard work, perseverance, and the help of caring adults who never stop believing in you.

See Fatu’s story in THE CITY.

(Photo: Ben Fractenberg-THE CITY)

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SCO at PS 5

After School • Summer Camp

SCO’s After School Program at PS 5 offers academic enrichment, homework assistance and weekly instruction in creative/visual arts, performing arts, STEM, literacy, and recreation. Run in partnership with the school, the program provides a safe environment where students engage in activities that enrich their education, foster their academic achievement, and prepare them for future success. Our school-based program is an essential resource for working families, providing a safe and enriching environment during out-of-school hours.

When school is out, SCO’s Summer Camp at PS 5 provides a safe and engaging summer experience, where children can develop academic, creative and artistic abilities through art, music, dance and sports. Our camp equips young people with leadership development, character building, recreation, and academic enrichment, including STEM and literacy programs. On-site activities are combined with cultural, educational and recreational trips throughout New York City. The program is open to students in grades K-5.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Students at PS 5 and neighborhood schools

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Kindergarten- 5th grade

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program director at 718-443-8527

Success Stories

Fatu’s Story

Changing Her Trajectory

At 19, Fatu’s future looks bright. She plans to go to Monroe College in the fall to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer. Learn More

Faiz

RJMCC & Tyree Learning Center

“His progress has been exponential. In barely a year, he’s surpassed everyone’s expectations. It’s been transformative.” Learn More

94%

of students at Westbrook Preparatory School passed the Regents exam on the first try

4 out of 5

young adults (21+) at our Residential Treatment Center for youth with developmental disabilities participate in Day Habilitation or are enrolled in school

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