SCO Family of Services held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of Journey Chic Boutique, a new business operated by young adults in foster care, on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at the Genovese Family Life Center, in Jamaica.
In addition to local leaders, those on hand for the ribbon cutting at located at 89-30 161st St. also included members of the Amazin’ Mets Foundation, which helped bring this boutique to life.
The young adults running the boutique will provide a personal shopping experience for clients served by SCO’s foster care and preventive programs. Additionally, they will learn valuable customer service, merchandising and retail skills.
“This wonderful boutique is yet another example of how we provide real life experiences to put our youth on the right path,” SCO Family of Services Chief Program Officer Karen Abreu said. “Our youth were the driving force behind this project. They came up with the concept, created this space, built the relationships with our partners and made this happen. Our comprehensive, proactive and strength-based approach helps to ensure our young people have what they need to lead independent, successful lives.”
According to Journey Chic Boutique intern and “boutique specialist” Breshan Bennett, this new business also provides those working there with the opportunity to give back to the community.
“We all know it’s kind of hard being in the system, especially not having the support or needs that you need and essential things, so it’s kind of cool to give back to the community,” Bennett said. “What this means to me and I think everybody else that helped do this is you get to see how you can affect a kid’s life in a good way. It’s about giving back and seeing the smiles on kids’ faces.”
Queens Deputy Borough President Ebony Young and New York City Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner Jess Dannhauser were among those on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. They heaped praise upon Bennett and the other young workers who helped make the boutique a reality.
“I am so proud of you and the work that you’ve done,” Young said. “To stick with it, to have the tenacity, the resilience, all of the things that you need as a young person when you’re going through so many things.”
“We believe in you, we’re proud of you and we know when you’re invested,” Dannhauser added. “We want you to know that there are so many opportunities we are working to create, everyone in this room. We want to make sure you have opportunities. You are not only our future, you are our today. We appreciate you so very much.”
SCO Family of Services aims to help young New Yorkers build a strong foundation for the future. The organization works towards getting young children off to a good start, launch youths into adulthood, stabilize and strengthen families and unlock potential for children and adults with special needs. For more than 125 years, SCO has played a vital role delivering human services in communities throughout New York City and Long Island.
Additional reporting by Paul Frangipane.