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Seventeen-year-old Mark has been through a lot in his young life. Growing up, Mark was exposed to violence and addiction in the home. “The only thing we could do is to be there for him,” said George Goode, Manager of the HSVS Jamaica Hills Group Home. “Mark is humble and caring to his peers and staff. He treats his housemates like his brothers, puts school first and perseveres to maintain a relationship with his family,” noted Goode. During his time at Jamaica Hills, Mark developed a special connection with Sandra Myrick, HSVS Program Coordinator who is considered the “Mom” of the group home. Myrick and Mark first bonded in the kitchen. “It would be a Saturday morning and Mark volunteered to come shopping with me. In the evenings, he helped me cook dinner,” said Myrick. Sandra, who has 3 children and 4 grandchildren, wants to foster Mark. Sandra has helped Mark to budget, plan his academics and nurture his relationship with his mother, while Mark brings ambition and positive energy to the table. Mark, who wants to be a doctor, often can be seen studying in his bedroom filled with books or tutoring his housemates at the dining room table for upcoming New York State Regents exams. “We all are here to ensure that our young men and women achieve permanency and their personal goals,” said Eric Williams who oversees HSVS’s four group homes for foster care youth in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
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