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.”

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Westbrook Preparatory School

Westbrook Preparatory School is the first residential New York State Regents junior/senior high school for students with Asperger syndrome, high functioning autism and related conditions who require intensive support in a year-round school setting. Westbrook offers a therapeutic, residential experience integrated with an academic program individually attuned to each student’s unique strengths and challenges. We teach these promising students independence while preparing them for post-secondary education, employment and life in the community. Day students may be referred by their school districts.

 

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Westbrook Preparatory School

Westbrook Preparatory School is the first residential New York State Regents junior/senior high school for students with Asperger syndrome, high functioning autism and related conditions. Read More

Success Stories

Manuel’s Story

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Last year,

188

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

368

participants in our Young Adult Workforce Program at Rikers Island completed our program to become licensed drivers to improve their employability