MercyLink Winter 2018 18_Winter MercyLink_web

Winter 2018 Message from the CEO: The Big and the Everyday Save the Date Usually when I write for this newsletter, I focus on some major development at MercyFirst. As I Monday, May 21, 2018 read the stories in this edition it struck me that this approach overlooks the accomplishments Spring Golf Outing and miracles that occur every day. Sometimes I learn of them through staff and other times Tam O’Shanter Club I learn of them by chance. Here are a few: • Advocacy in Albany: Recently, two foster youth went to Albany to meet with legislators Thursday, June 21, 2018 to discuss the importance of funding that lets them go to college and work towards The Daniel & Virginia McCarthy their future. A few weeks later, 4 staff went to Albany to stress the importance of Scholarship Dinner having adequate funding to keep and retain staff to do this very challenging work. Brooklyn Botanic Garden For legislators to hear this directly from those effected by their decisions is vital. Thursday, October 25, 2018 • Early Graduation: A young man on our campus came to us being significantly behind Angel of Hope Reception in school. With the support of our teachers and extra tutoring, he earned his High Rainbow Room, NYC School diploma a semester early! The smile on his face and his parents was priceless! • Teen Mom Attends SUNY: A graduate from our Mother-Baby Residence was featured in a Daily News article. While with us, she graduated from high school and was accepted into SUNY at Stony Brook which she now attends with her son! • Keeping Families Together: When families are under stress making sure their children attend school can sometimes get lost. Our Preventive program worked with a family with several young children who were chronically late and who missed a significant number of school days. In addition to other assistance, our Case Planner worked with the family to set up a routine so children do their homework, get the sleep they need and are prepared to attend school the next day. There has been significant improvement and the school now reports no issues of lateness or absenteeism. • Building on Success: When one of our residents was getting ready to be discharged to a foster home, she was connected to our new Care Management program. Having lost many family members in her life, her transition to the foster home was extremely difficult. She started to get back into drugs and having altercations with peers. While this is not uncommon, her connection with her Care Manager remained consistent and over time with her support she got focused on her education and what she learned on campus. She has settled down and is back working to get her HS Diploma. Finally, about two weeks ago, as I was walking through the Reception Room at our offices in Brooklyn, I saw a couple totally engaged with a baby. As I introduced myself they said they were new foster parents and while they did not expect to have a new born placed in their care, it happened. The baby’s mother had given up custody and they were now going forward with the adoption of the only parents the baby had known. Just another every day miracle at MercyFirst. - Jerry McCaffery, President/CEO MercyFirst Art Exhibit at the Long Island Children’s Museum Selected images from MercyFirst’s Hope Holds No Borders: Children’s Art of Com- passion and Inclusion, are once again on exhibit. The artwork is displayed at the Long Island Children’s Museum, in Garden City. from February 3 through May 6. Originally exhibited at the United Nations Headquarters in June 2017, the proj- ect includes drawings and paintings that were exchanged between Syrian refu- gee children at Project Lift in Istanbul and youth from MercyFirst to offer each other support, understanding and hope. The artwork reflects the experiences, hopes, fears, and dreams of all children and shows us how much we are alike, no matter where we are from. For information about the museum and hours of operation visit: