Tag Archives: client stories
My name is Logan, and I’m in sixth grade. I live in Flushing with my grandmother and my mom, who is a Utilization Management Nurse. While she works, I go to the Beacon afterschool program at Parsons Community School.
At first I liked Parsons just because most of the kids from my school were in it. I also made new friends, and the staff are so nice and have given us so much. For example, they have a lot of events like the game truck, paint nights, and food giveaways. They are easy to talk to, and a challenge they helped me with was talking to some of the other kids. The staff help us with any problems we have. For example, when someone is hurt they would take care of it. Ms. Jayme helps me with my homework, like math, which is my favorite subject. She was very patient and helped me a lot. I know I can go to any of them with any problems I need help with.
I’ve been going to Parsons for two and half years. I still like going to Parsons because of my friends and the staff, and I also like going because the activities are a lot of fun. I do activities like graphic design, color theory, and coding. Color theory teaches me different things like the color categories and types. Graphic design is a program that helps me make pictures on the computer. Coding taught me how to make characters to build videos and other programs on the computer. All of these can help me reach my goal of becoming a heart surgeon because everything uses computers. I also play basketball when we go in person!
Parsons Beacon always has something special going on, in addition to our regular activities. One of my favorites was the Just a Kid from Queens speaker series. I got to see how people like me, from my neighborhood, grew up and went on to do interesting things. What I liked about the series was the information they had to say and the lesson I learned every time. My favorite speaker was Jean-Wesley because he is disciplined and has a passion for becoming a wine sommelier even though not a lot of Black men do that job. He went to school and worked at the same time. He also comes from a diverse background and has worked in different kinds of jobs. He let me know I can do whatever I want in life.
Note from Logan’s mom, Bianca: “I love the Parsons Beacon Program because it affords the participants opportunities to learn about so many things that are integral to succeeding in the world of technology and arts we live in today. Not only do they provide skills training, they also provide role models to show the kids where and how far their skills will take them. Parsons’ staff puts great effort into the success of their program and exude their love for the kids and community every step of the way. They are a true example of excellence in community service and development!”
The staff at Redfern Cornerstone Community Center have been my angels. That was true before COVID, and it is even more true now.
I’m a single mom who works as a home health aide. I have a 6-year-old son, Terrell, and a daughter at college.
Terrell first began going to Redfern for summer camp in 2019 when he was 5 years old. He had the time of his life. He would come home and tell me stories about all the people he met. It was just so welcoming and friendly. Before this, he was in the house all day, and being at Redfern really opened him up. They introduced him to arts and crafts, which he enjoys a lot.
When the summer ended, I was glad to learn that Redfern offered an afterschool program and signed him up right away. I was grateful for the homework help, and Terrell loved the field trips. His favorite was ice skating. I was so terrified to let him go, but he said, “I’m gonna be fine, don’t worry about it!” And he was. The staff sent me a video of him on the ice. He was so happy! The program really broadened Terrell’s horizons and gave him experiences he wouldn’t otherwise have had. They also helped him with behavioral issues, and I saw a real difference. Life had settled into a good routine, which is very helpful when you’re a single mom!
Then COVID hit. Everything went south and shut down. We muddled through the spring with my daughter home from college to watch Terrell, but I wasn’t sure what we were going to do for the summer. At least with virtual learning at school he was somewhat engaged. I worried that during the summer he’d have nothing.
I was so glad when I found out that Redfern would be doing summer camp. It was virtual, and I wasn’t sure how it would work, but it turned out great. My daughter was able to provide supervision, but with the programming through Redfern, she didn’t have to entertain him all day. He got to interact with his friends and the staff, whom he loves.
Once school started back up again and my daughter had to go back to college, I didn’t know what to do — again — since school was going to be virtual. I seriously contemplated quitting my job because my son had to come first.
That’s when Redfern got the green light to open for the Learning Bridges program. This has helped me out a whole lot!
Learning Bridges is for students who need a safe space to conduct their virtual learning during school hours. Terrell attends virtual school while he’s at Redfern, and staff are there to make sure he stays on task and to answer any questions or help with any problems.
When the kids come in in the morning, they sign in, wash their hands, and log on to class. They take little breaks throughout the day, and staff make sure they log back on in time for their next class. And although there are a lot of kids there, they make it work. The staff gave noise-cancelling headphones to any students who didn’t have them, and they give them a private place to work when needed. Once Terrell’s teacher wanted to test his reading, and I asked the staff if he could have a quieter area for the testing. They said no problem.
When the school day ends, they transition right into the center’s afterschool program, where Terrell can get his homework done and participate in enrichment activities, which he can’t get enough of. At 5:30 when I pick him up, I ask him what he likes about the center, and he’ll say, “I like to make things with clay!” or “I like the new games.” He also talks about the staff and how he likes that [Group Leader] Ms. Shantrice colors with him. He also loves [Program Site Coordinator] Mr. Keith, [Program Coordinator] Ms. Rosmary, and [Program Director] Mr. Simeon, who is amazing and always makes sure Terrell is OK. They’re all great, and I think of them as a team. As a mom, it makes me so glad to know my son is well-cared for all day and happy.
It’s like one big family here. The staff really treat your child like their own. Everyone knows them and cares about them. Especially during the pandemic, I needed the help really bad, and this program saved me. That’s why I say they’re my angels. The best thing I ever could have done was sign Terrell up for Redfern.
Daniel is a client of The Child Center’s school-based mental health clinic at Richmond Hill High School and our Health Home Program, which serves Medicaid-eligible youth who suffer from multiple chronic conditions. The program ensures coordination of care so that needs are neither neglected nor duplicated and the client has access to the resources that will help him lead a healthy, fulfilling life.Continue reading
Case in Point: Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for PTSD
Asian Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group in New York City, and they often face unique and difficult challenges, including an unfamiliar language and culture; poverty; and conflict between immigrant parents and American-raised children. The Child Center of NY’s Asian Outreach Program helps families handle these challenges by providing mental health screening, information, and counseling to low-income Asian American youth and their families. AOP’s bilingual and bicultural therapists are steeped in the culture of their clients — enabling them to reach troubled young people before they slip through the cracks.
I came to New York from Guyana when I was 13 years old. I wasn’t too broken up about it. Now and again I did miss home, but I knew I had a lot of opportunities here. In this country you have a chance to make something of yourself.
One problem I had was issues with my brother, Jonathan. He was difficult to deal with. He would destroy my belongings, take my things … I would get mad and we’d have bad fights and disagreements. A few times things turned physical. That’s when I started counseling with Miss Austin in the HALE program. She talked with me, my mother, and sometimes Jonathan. She helped me learn how to handle my concerns without things turning physical and to recognize when to ignore things. She also helped my mom talk to Jonathan and help him understand that it isn’t acceptable to treat your family this way.
When I was 16, I told Miss Austin that I wanted to start working because I wanted some money in my pocket and to start taking care of myself. She told me about JobNet and helped me get started.
I met Samantha, who worked at JobNet, and Ms. Diggs, the program director, and I started working for the program as a receptionist. It was an interesting experience. I learned how to answer the phones, welcome and greet visitors, and take messages. Through Career Club I learned to be professional, to always be there on time, and to follow instructions. I enjoyed working with the people there, and it left me feeling like I had connections—that I could come back any time to show them what I was doing. People at JobNet want to help you make something of yourself. They care about your future. Even though I’m out of the program more than two years, I came back to show them what I’m up to now: becoming a firefighter.
When I first came to this country and was in middle school, I saw the ambulances and the firetruck go by and I had a feeling that was the career I wanted to get into. I did the hard work to get into FDNY Captain Vernon A. Richard High School for Fire and Life Safety and graduated in 2015.
Now I’m studying to become an NYC EMT, and then in a couple of years, I can become an FDNY firefighter.
The road wasn’t easy. The first time I took the test, I got a 68 and needed a 70. But I didn’t give up. I took it two more times, and I finally did it. Now I’ve completed the Winter EMS Academy, and I’m on my way to becoming a firefighter.
Things are better now.I had experiences at JobNet that I really treasure and that shaped me into the person I am supposed to be. I learned how to be responsible when I have a job to do, and that I can do it. And I never would have met these amazing people that I enjoy talking to.
My relationship with my brother is different from how it was back then. We don’t argue as much or get into altercations as much as we did back then. There’s less fights and more talking.
That’s one of the things I learned from Miss Austin and from the people at JobNet: Most things in life require hard work, but once you put in the work, the results you are looking for will happen.
Doing More Than the Minimum
When the NYC Administration for Children’s Services gets involved in a domestic violence case, the city agency refers the family to an organization like The Child Center of NY for domestic violence counseling. This educational counseling is a vital part of helping such families, but at The Child Center, we do much more to ensure a family — including the children — is truly equipped to end the cycle of abuse and live healthy, fulfilling lives. Continue reading
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