Long Story Short


About Long Story Short:

Poverty impacts thousands of people right here in the Capital Region, but SCAP wants you to know there is hope for breaking the cycle of poverty. That is why we created the Long Story Short campaign; to raise awareness of the strengths and successes of the people we serve and the difficulties they have overcome, as well as combat the negative stigma associated with poverty.

The benefits of sharing these stories is to motivate and inspire our customers and spread our message of hope. Additionally, through these stories we can showcase SCAP’s uniqueness and the many ways in which we can help.

Featured Stories:

Damaris Cardona with her husband and sister Chi-Chi
Damaris Cardona with her husband and sister Chi-Chi
Why SCAP?: At first it was curiosity, but-then it was their techniques and the plan we made that comforted me.

Why Now?: At SCAP I found a good friend that offered me a lot of trust. I get very happy when she calls.

Biggest Challenge: Finding an apartment with my language barrier, I could not communicate in English.

Describe Yourself: I am bipolar. What triggers my outbursts is my medical condition and stressing out. I had to take sleeping pills in order to sleep at night. My biggest fear was becoming homeless again. Ever since I came to SCAP, my mood swings have calm down a lot, I sleep without sleeping pills and the most important thing is that I am caring for my sister the right way. To me, family is most important.

Advice for Others: If you need help, come to SCAP.. . . read Damaris’ story

Katherine Cohn-Jacqueway 12/2015
Katherine Cohn-Jacqueway
Why SCAP?: Back then, I needed childcare. Now, I love working in this environment at SCAP. I connect with the parents that are going through the same things I went through.

Why Now?: It is my time to be here.

Biggest Challenge: Teen parenting.

Describe Yourself: I am family-oriented. I raise my family the same way my parents did, with structure and discipline. I’m very big on going to the library. I have an old-school approach to life.

Advice for Others: My message is to other teen parents; always follow your dreams. Put your family first. You need something work for. If you want to be successful for yourself and your family, you will. . . read Katherine’s story

Tammy 12/15/15
Why SCAP?: I saw that they were doing career readiness in healthcare and thought that was just the career change I was looking for.
Why Now?: I was looking for a career change at that time because I was laid off from my job. Everything fell into place from there.
Biggest Challenge: I felt I was too old to go back to school. Being the oldest student was a challenge. Actually, walking into the class on the first day, I thought, “Oh no, what have I done.” (Tammy laughs)
Describe Yourself: I’m a good listener. I like to nurture people I come into contact with; I learn from them and they learn from me. I am ambitious. I know what I want and I work 24/7 to get there.

Advice for Others: Love what you do and never give up. . . read Tammy’s story

Dominicka 11/15/15
Why SCAP?: I was looking for child care for my son. Their program did a wonderful job helping him to prepare school and I was able to move forward with my education.

Why Now?: I guess I was in the right place at the right time. SCAP provided me and my son with the help we needed at that time.

Biggest Challenge: Juggling raising a child while going to school and working. It was hard, but I did it.

Describe Yourself: I am loving, compassionate, strong-willed and very spiritual.

Advice for Others: Don’t wait to pursue your goals, and don’t be shy about asking for help if you need to. Don’t give up! I always knew I could do something more with myself and I didn’t give up. . . read Dominicka’s story

Ma'Kiah Beatty 11/14/14
Ma’Kiah Beatty
Why SCAP?: I found out about SCAP from my mother. They helped her qualify for a new career in healthcare.

Why Now?: I knew if I waited, I would never do it.

Biggest Challenge: Finding out about me after my marriage ended.

Describe Yourself: I make mistakes, everybody does. I am lovable and I love choclate.

Advice for Others: What I have learned in life is that everything happens for a reason. You have to put yourself first and finish what you start. . . read Ma’Kiah’s story

Meagan Cavanaugh 10/2014
Meagan Cavanaugh
Why SCAP?: I saw a flyer and was interested because I always wanted to be a nurse, but I was unsure if it was the career choice for me. SCAP offers a program that other community programs do not; it focuses on young people who have little to no work experience.

Why Now?: I was out of work because of my surgery. I worked as a cleaner for the school system for six years and just felt it was time to make a change.

Biggest Challenge: Initially, it was having a medical problem that put me out of work. I didn’t know what to expect when I applied for SCAP’s career readiness program. I had to get over my fear of attending the class.

Describe Yourself: I am a strong woman and a positive role model for my twin girls.

Advice for Others: My advice to other students is to not be afraid and to work as hard as you can. Anything can be accomplished if it’s what you truly want. I went from being a young unemployed single mom to a nurse in a year and a half. Improve your life. Step away from negative obstacles and influences like drugs, alcohol and fighting. If you really want to do something you can! It is possible. . . read Meagan’s full story

Melissa 10/2014
Why SCAP?: I knew SCAP had other services. I knew I wanted to get into the Certified Nursing Assistant program. I need a career not a dead end job. When I first arrived at Sojourn and realized it was SCAP, I was relieved.

Why Now?: I was homeless and needed stability for me and my sons.

Biggest Challenge: Pride and ego. I don’t ask for help and I don’t like to admit I need help.”

Describe Yourself: I am sarcastic and honest. I find humor in unexpected places. Currently, I am happy and content and I don’t think I have EVER felt that way.

Advice for Others: Take life day by day, it gets overwhelming when you project things. Just take it day by day. . . read Melissa’s full story

Jean Bonolo 9/2014
Jean Bonolo
Why SCAP?: I came to SCAP to meet with an attorney. That’s when I saw the display case about SCAP’s employment services.

Why Now?: I had been unemployed for 18 months; I needed a job.

Biggest Challenge: Managing my family while attending training classes.

Describe Yourself: Open minded, hard-working and caring.

Advice for Others: Evaluate who you are. Your heart must be in it to care for people in the healthcare field. Make friends during your training; you will have someone to talk with who truly understands your job because they are doing it too. You have nothing to lost and everything to gain. . . . read Jean’s full story

Rodney Gibson 6/2014
Rodney Gibson
Why SCAP?: I needed help in finding housing and gaining positive supports.

Why Now?: I realized what was important and that I wanted to change peoples’ perceptions of me.

Biggest Challenge: My back injury and my battle with drugs and alcohol.

Describe Yourself: I have been through alot, but I know now what’s important to me, God and my family.

Advice for Others: Never give up on your dreams or goals and stay away from mood-altering substances. . . read Rodney’s full story

Shatiki Beatty 5/2014
Shatiki Beatty
Why SCAP?: SCAP was helpful and accessible.

Why Now?: God’s timing is perfect.

Biggest Challenge: Self discovery.

Describe Yourself: I am kind and see myself as an advocate. I have a desire to do better for the Lord and my children.

Advice for Others: Stay in a relationship with God, through him all things are possible. Speak in terms of success, such as I am accomplished, I am confident, I excel… read Shatiki’s full story

Cheetara Moore 12/2013
Cheetara Moore
Why SCAP?: I heard about SCAP from my sister and I felt the HPOG program would be right for me because it helps people get started in the healthcare field.

Why Now?: Now is the right time; I’m not getting any younger. I have struggled with fibromyalgia for the past few years and it has ruled me. Now, I want to rule it and take charge of my life.

Biggest Challenge: My illness has been my biggest challenge. Having the support of my family is important, I want them to see that I can do this.

Describe Yourself: I am a very spiritual person. I like to teach others about the Bible. Also, I am patient, caring, compassionate, and I try to be humble.

Advice for Others: Go after what you want in life. Don’t let others hinder you from achieving your dreams. You can do it!. . . read Cheetara’s full story

Kim Washburn 12/2013
Kim Washburn
Why SCAP?: They offered us free Head Start and they have a great reputation. Some of my friends’ children have gone through the program and they had a lot of nice things to say. My Family Worker is always there if I need something. I feel comfortable enough to call her to ask for help with anything.

Why Now?: I was worried about my children’s education at the time. They needed a preschool and the other preschools I looked at wern’t providing all the things that SCAP Head Start was.

Biggest Challenge: Helping my kids with their homework, making sure life is flowing properly, and making sure the kids are getting what they need to be successful adults.

Describe Yourself: I identify myself as married and a mother of seven wishing the best for her children.

Advice for Others: Take your kids preschool education seriously. Without it they will fall behind unless you really know what you’re doing. It’s a huge advantage when they go to kindergarten . . . read Kim’s full story

Robert (Bob) Hilicus 12/2013
Robert (Bob) Hilicus

Why SCAP?: The library suggested I call SCAP to learn the computer skills I needed to apply for a job.

Why Now?: I want to work now for two reasons, the price of everything keeps going up and since my wife passed away four months ago, I am very lonely. I am healthy and I think I have alot of miles left.

Biggest Challenge: My biggest challenge now is getting through my grief for my wife. SCAP has helped me with the computer skills I need so that I can apply for a job. A job will give me a place to go every day and the opportunity to meet new people.

Describe Yourself: I am outgoing, friendly, honest, loyal, ambitious, responsible and I enjoy being with people.

Advice for Others: I learned alot of things in my life, but one thing stands out and that is when all else fails, tell the truth. . . . read Bob’s full story

Michael King 11/2013
Michael King
Why SCAP?: SCAP is a very community-oriented program and we (the community) can look to each other to exchange feedback. It’s kind of like a newtork, and I got good feedback about the program and decided to come here.

Why Now?:I wanted to further my teaching experience and learn how to be a better parent to my child, so I decided to become involved in my daughter’s school life.

Biggest Challenge: Trying to balance home life with work and trying to get my CDA certificate all at once. It’s tough, but I know the reward at the end will be worth it.

Describe Yourself: I am very outgoing and spontaneous; also I am a curious individual.

Advice for Others: Go for what you believe in. Regret is not trying. You will only face regret if you don’t try; you will always wonder in the back of your mind, “what if?”. . . read Michael’s full story

Lisbeth Fernandez 11/2013
Lisbeth Fernandez
Why SCAP?: I knew about SCAP because I worked at their Head Start program as a subsstitute teacher assistant. I didn’t know abuot the HPOG program until I was referred by a friend.

Why Now?:I needed a job to pay the household bills. I was looking for a career opportunity in the healthcare field.

Biggest Challenge: I usually give up on things I start. Sticking with the HPOG program and not giving up was a big challenge for me.

Describe Yourself: I am a very giving person and often give so much to others that at times I neglect my own needs.

Advice for Others: The HPOG staff encouraged me every step along the way. Don’t give up on something you want to achieve. . . read Lisbeth’s full story

Keyona Walton 10/2013
Keyona Walton
Why SCAP?: It’s free, and the program I was in was only 10 weeks long. They prepare you and help you succeed.

Why Now?:I wanted to help people and if I wasn’t going to be in cosmetology, I knew I would enjoy a career helping people anyway I could.

Biggest Challenge: Staying positive is sometimes hard for me. By nature, I am a complainer.

Describe Yourself: I am pretty laid back with a good sense of humor. I am a team player and I like to work in groups. Also, I enjoy meeting new people.

Advice for Others: Find your resources, don’t just sit there because nobody’s going to knock on your door. Find your motivation; my daughter is mine. All you have is yourself so just do it! Stay focused and never give up. . . read Keyona’s full story

Kristina Leonard
Kristina Leonard
Why SCAP?:I was anxious to move up in the heath care field. My friend told me about SCAP’s Career Readiness and CNA program and I decided that the CNA program was a good fit for me.

Why Now?: I was a single mom working multiple jobs in order to put food on the table. I knew that I needed to make a change.

Biggest Challenge: I was working full-time and going to school full-time, so I had a hard time staying motivated.

Describe Yourself: I am a dedicated, hard working and caring individual.

Advice for Others:
Don’t give up, even when it starts getting hard, because the reward is far greater when you are finished. Just keep working hard. . . read Kristina’s full story

Rachel Diaz
Rachel Diaz
Why SCAP?: A friend told me about the program. I see the health care profession as a stable and secure opportunity.

Why Now?: I wanted my oldest daughter to have a positive role model and someone she can look up to.

Biggest Challenge: Keeping a clear head and staying positive while attending classes, while at the same time dealing with the death of my sister.

Describe Yourself: I am strong-willed and motivated. As a result of the career readiness classes, I am less judgmental and now I am able to see other people’s point of view.

Advice for Others: It’s never too late to start something new. . . read Rachel’s full story

Keisha Dunson
Keisha Dunson
Why SCAP?:I learned about SCAP’s DHP program through a brochure, and thought that this might be the lift I needed.

Why Now?: For a long time I was lost. I knew that sitting in a wheelchair wasn’t the life for me. I needed to make a change.

Biggest Challenge:
I learned to have faith in and advocate for myself. It hasn’t been easy to get out of my own way and stop defining myself through my disability.

Describe Yourself:
I am a hardworking mother with a passion for living and bettering myself.

Advice for Others:
Don’t give up; keep going. . . read Keisha’s full story

Crystal Hodge
Crystal Hodge
Why SCAP?:I needed a place to stay for me and my son. Sojourn House was better for us than a domestic violence shelter.

Why Now?:It was that time in my life when I needed help. I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time.

Biggest Challenge:I had to learn that I can be independent and that I have the strength to take care of myself and my son.

Describe Yourself: I’m hard working, I always have been. I think I am intelligent, but I don’t always listen. I often leap before I look.

Advice for Others: Keep trying, don’t ever give up. There is life after tragedy… it’s not the end. When people tell you that you can’t do it trust me, you can. . . read Crystal’s full story

 Audrey Owens
Audrey Owens
Why SCAP: So many people were telling me about SCAP and said I should come and see what they could do for me.

Why Now?:After Norman’s death, I had to start all over again.

Biggest Challenge:The fear of being around young people and going back to school after 50 years!

Describe Yourself: I’m compassionate, responsible, timely and professional.

Advice for Others: Take the words: I CANNOT out of your vocabulary. If you can think it, you can do it!. . .read Audrey’s full story

Denay White
Denay White
Why SCAP?: SCAP was recommended to me by a healthcare facility as a reputable place to start!

Why Now?: I would like to build a career now while I’m young instead of after I have a family. Health care jobs offer security.

Biggest Challenge: Time Management! This isn’t high school, and I’ve had a reality check!

Describe Yourself: I see myself as an outgoing, well spoken, well-mannered young adult.

Advice for Others: I never knew SCAP offered a program like this. Check it out and see if it can help you. If you start the program, be on time! The more you put into it, the more they will meet you halfway. Choose nursing because you care, not for the money. . . read Denay’s full story

Why SCAP?: I was referred to SCAP by a friend and it turned out that the HPOG program was perfect for me.

Why Now?: At that time in my life, I felt this was what I needed. I was ready to move forward.

Biggest Challenge: Juggling my responsibilities for my children while attending school.

Describe Yourself: I would say I am determined, stubborn and very curious. Also, I am thankful everyday for my life and for my forgiving family. They are an endless source of support and the reason I am here today.

Advice for Others: Don’t be afraid to accept help. Before I came to SCAP, I didn’t know how to follow my dream of becoming a Registered Nurse. Now, I have a new career path as a CNA and I am on my way. SCAP was the first step. I owe them a lot and I’ll never forget what they did for me.. . . read Gina’s full story

Maha Lulu
Maha Lulu
Why SCAP?: A health issue brought me to a nutritionist, who referred me to Margaret, the Nurse Navigator at Ellis Hospital. Margaret told me about SCAP.

Why Now?: I realized it was time to do something for me. I wanted to get out of the house and contribute again. . . to be useful.

Biggest Challenge: I don’t drive yet. I don’t like depending on others to get around.

Describe Yourself: I am patient. I have a good heart and would rather give than take.

Advice for Others: Go forward and look around for the help you need. At SCAP you can find yourself. They help you take the first step, but after that it’s up to you if you want to continue. . . read Maha’s full story

 Felix Hernandez
Felix Hernandez
Why SCAP?: I was determined to move forward with my life, but at the same time, I knew I needed help getting started.

Why Now?: Why not? It’s free.

Biggest Challenge: Balancing work with school

Describe Yourself: I am a positive thinker and I am excited about my future.

Advice for Others: If you are at the bottom, the only place to go is up! SCAP is not here to judge you; they offer respect and understanding. Be willing to try new things and don’t self-sabotage! SCAP is a great place to start. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just the next step!. . . read Felix’s full story

The Sooklal Family
The Sooklal Family
Why SCAP?: SCAP’s Head Start has a reputation for providing quality pre-school programming and we felt it was the right thing to do for my son.

Why Now?: My son needed a pre-school program to help prepare him for kindergarten.

Biggest Challenge: Having to travel for work and being gone for long periods of time to earn enough income to support my family.

Describe Yourself: I consider my wife and I to be hard working people with strong family values.

Advice for Others: Always stay involved with your family. Set a good example for your children, no matter the circumstance. Spend a lot of quality time with your children. . . read the Sooklal family’s full story

Creating Opportunity in Partnership
913 Albany Street
Schenectady, NY 12307
Phone: 518-374-9181
Fax: 518-374-9101
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and Wednesday until 6:30 p.m.