For most, childhood is a time of learning and play, growing confident with the love and encouragement of family. It is a precious time to live free from fear, safe from violence, and protected from abuse and exploitation. However, for abused children, their childhood experience is nothing short of terrifying. EAC Network‘s Children and Youth services work intensively with victims of child abuse and neglect or who are involved in the foster care system or child trafficking.
We Are a Chance to Advance
EAC Network‘s Suffolk County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) offers a safe and child-friendly environment, coordinates medical and investigative responses, and helps connect children and families with community-based services that address their medical, emotional, and financial needs. Our Chance to Advance program enriches the lives of children in foster care through group activities and with the support of one-on-one mentors who offer foster children the opportunity to participate in a variety of recreational and educational enrichment programs.
Mentors also provide college and vocational counseling to help children explore their options for a successful future, including awarding college scholarships to those who qualify. In 2014, Chance to Advance was expanded to include mentoring opportunities for adopted children, provide college and vocational coaching, promote independent living skills, and encourage self-esteem.
EAC Network Gives Melisa a Chance to Advance Her Life
“Throughout my life I have faced adversity head on, but, the escape from my chaotic life was education.
Losing my mother and being brought into the foster care system at a young age was the most terrifying period of my childhood. I was torn from my brother and sister’s arms and felt lonely and yet the only thing that stuck beside me was my education.
I always knew that what I did in the classroom would reflect on myself and my future. The Chance to Advance scholarship aided me with my education goals. I was able to help others with my volunteer work as well as attain a 4.0 GPA.”
A Scholarship Provides New Opportunities
“This scholarship allowed me to attend Suffolk County Community College full time, where I made new friends as well as met brilliant professors.
I love helping others, so I began tutoring students from William Floyd High School in different areas of mathematics, pre-calculus, algebra, trigonometry, and statistics. While tutoring, I continued my education to become a physical therapist.
One day, I will graduate with my doctorate’s degree and own my own physical therapy practice. What motivated me to choose physical therapy as a profession is because of my mother, who was paralyzed and blind, yet fully recovered just before passing away.
This scholarship has helped me with my education, and I am so grateful for the people who are helping me change my life, just as I will change someone else’s life with the aid of this scholarship,” said Melisa, Chance to Advance 2016 Scholarship Recipient.
Support EAC Network’s Children and Youth Services
For more than 50 years, EAC Network has been helping children and youth grow up to lead enriching lives. We provide programs that develop educational, artistic, athletic and cultural talents of children in foster care ages six to 21.
To help support EAC Network’s mission to enrich the lives of local children, make a donation today.