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Schenectady Community Action Program

This is Dominikca. She’s an easy-going, optimistic, happy, and a spiritual young woman. But, this hasn’t always been the case. We want to share with you a little about her story.

At birth, Dominikca was born addicted to crack; her parents were not around for her as they were in and out of jail, and she grew up in poverty.

Her first five years were spent with her grandmother in Brooklyn. After age 5, Dominikca was shuffled between her grandmother, her mother, a cousin or a friend. To cope, Dominikca started bullying others. This behavior spiraled out of control and she was frequently in trouble until she dropped out of school at age 17 and then became pregnant with her first child.

In spite of these challenges, as a young adult, Dominikca knew she wanted something better. She knew if she focused on her education, she could change her life. After completing her GED, Dominicka finished Community College with a degree in health studies, all while juggling a job and caring for her child.

Still focusing on finishing her education, Dominikca applied to and was accepted at nursing school until child care became an obstacle and she could no longer rely on family support. With SCAP’s help, Dominicka was able to enroll her son in our Early Learning Program. He received a quality comprehensive pre-school experience and Dominicka gained the peace of mind she needed to move forward with her education. “Because of SCAP, when my son went to kindergarten, he already knew how to read,” said Dominikca.

Dominika enjoyed her new career as a nurse and she felt proud of the fact that she could take care of her family. After the birth of her third child, Dominikca dedicated herself to starting a daycare business so that she could spend more time with her young children. Her daycare opened in May 2013. Just one year later, the daycare was flourishing and she hired two staff to work for her.

This year, when Dominika heard about SCAP’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships grant opportunity, she said she was immediately interested. She was eager to provide for other parents the opportunity she had received from SCAP, the chance to focus on their goals without the worry of having quality child care. Her daycare was a perfect fit for SCAP’s program. Dominika has since revamped her daycare center to make it more educational focused. She has painted the walls and hung new posters. Now, she has a full class with a waiting list.

Dominikca’s story is about the opportunity to move forward and SCAP has been there to help her and partner with her along the way.