Jasmine’s Story

I entered foster care at 16 years old and was placed in the home of “Aunt” Nessa, as I liked to call her. Few people knew of my situation; it was our little secret. I was embarrassed by the family dysfunction that led me to this strange place in my life, and with the support of my SCO caseworkers, I realized that education was my way out.

My goal was to attend Spelman College. I faced some naysayers; guidance counselors who said it was too expensive, others who felt I would never get in. But my SCO caseworkers and staff supported my decision. They stayed on top of me, making sure I filled out every document and scholarship. It was the staff’s unwavering support and positive reinforcement that sustained me.

I was accepted to Spelman with scholarships from several organizations as well as financial support from SCO’s education and permanency program, which helped me afford my housing.

But that was just the start of my journey. During summer break, I earned an internship volunteering with foster youth and their families through AmeriCorps that changed my life. I didn’t want any special treatment, so no one at my job was aware of my status as a foster youth. But as I worked in the family visiting room, much like a fly on the wall, I watched young people about my age visiting with the children they had lost custody of, some pregnant again. I saw a vicious cycle happening before my eyes.

It was that summer I realized that as a woman of color, as a foster youth, and as a human being who just cares, it would be a disservice if I didn’t take advantage of my unique pairing of lived experiences and desire to affect change.

Today, I am at Teachers College Columbia University earning my Masters in Clinical Psychology on a full scholarship, so that I, too, can be a source of support for youth in need.

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SCO at PS 81

After School

SCO’s After School Program at PS 81 offers homework assistance and weekly instruction in visual arts, theater, STEM, restorative circles, physical fitness and recreation for students in grades K-5. The program allows students to engage in activities that enrich their education, foster their academic achievement, and prepare them for future success. The After School Program is an essential resource for working families, providing a safe and enriching environment during out-of-school hours.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Students at PS 81 and neighboring schools

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Kindergarten-5th grade

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program director at 718-602-6082

Success Stories

Jasmine’s Story

From Foster Care to Advocate

Today, I am at Teachers College Columbia University earning my Masters in Clinical Psychology on a full scholarship, so that I, too, can be a source of support for youth in need. Learn More

Nicholas

Support for individuals with special needs

“The confidence Nick has grown in the short time he’s been at the group home is amazing." Learn More

96%

of 12th graders in Family Foster Care graduated high school; 61% are enrolled in post-secondary education

We help

1,500

children get ready for kindergarten

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