Maci Success Story

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"STEP is like my family.  You'll never see a group of kids like us so close to each other."

Maci is one of hundreds of children and youth who have gone through CSC-funded Maximizing Out of School Time, Youth FORCE and STEP (SUPPORTED TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM) programs offered through the Center for Hearing and Communication.

"I've had a really difficult journey growing up. After my father's death when I was two, my mother neglected me. I was born hearing but because my mother neglected me, I became hard of hearing. My mother became very depressed after the loss of my father and used alcohol and drugs to deal with the pain. She had a boyfriend who was abusive. I never liked being inside because they fought every day. I never got attention growing up.

I never knew the feeling of love and never trusted anybody. I was a "bad child" because I didn't know any better. I didn't have any friends because I never had a stable home. I was bullied all the time everywhere I went because I had horrible hygiene, raggedy clothes, and because of the loss of my hearing. So, I would skip school, had really bad grades and stayed outside all day. I basically raised myself. The only positive thing I had in my life was this program with the Center for Hearing and Communication that I joined when I was about 6 years old in the summer.

I finally knew the feeling of fitting in. I realized that there are other people like me and I didn't feel left out. I went through the elementary, middle school in Youth Force programs and now in high school in STEP (Supported Training & Employment Program). When I was 11 my mother passed away and I moved in with my aunt's family, which was difficult because I had never been with them before. The only real family I had were those in the programs I attended.

Here I am today. STEP is like my family.  You'll never see a group of kids like us so close to each other. They motivated me to do better in school. Now I'm not bullied, I have straight A's and B's. I look forward to learn how to drive and get a job to earn my own money and gain employability skills and give back to the community, and learn to be independent.

I want to be successful and not follow in mother's footsteps. I want to become a motivational speaker and help change lives like this program has changed mine. This program showed me that it's important to give back to the community and give love because that's what they gave me. They taught me how to be a proper young lady. They taught me life skills. I was very shy and through this show we put together I became outgoing and friendly.  

I don't know where I would be today without this program. But there are challenges: for example, bus transportation. What most people don't realize is that people live all over the place and it's hard to have parents or guardians pick us up. Some don't even have a car and live in the far reaches of the county. That's why CHC is so great, and I love bragging about the program: it even helps us with transportation.

Speaking of fun stuff, I LOVE coming here. They take us to waterparks, take us for performances in Orlando and so much more. And that is great because some of us have nothing to do on weekends so the only time we feel safe is here.

This program is my family and we would highly appreciate if this program stays open. It is a program that is open to everybody regardless of who you are."

View other CSC Success Stories.


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Our organization provides leadership, advocacy and resources to enhance the lives of the children of Broward County and empower them to become responsible, productive adults.

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Other CSC-Funded Community Initiatives
2-1-1 Broward General Hotline | 2-1-1 Broward

2-1-1 Broward, an information & referral line, provides a 24-hour, comprehensive help line and support service for individuals seeking crisis intervention assistance and/or information and referrals to health and human services in Broward County. An impressive database of information is used to provide community callers with current, relevant information regarding a wide variety of services within the community. All calls are toll-free, confidential and anonymous from anywhere in Broward County.

Other CSC-Funded Community Initiatives
2-1-1 Broward Special Needs and Behavioral Health | 2-1-1 Broward

The 2-1-1 Hotline is Broward’s single source for information and referrals for children with behavioral health needs and disabilities. The hotline’s specialized staff focuses on helping parents, caregivers, agencies, and medical practitioners who serve the needs of children, find programming, support and hope. A case management component is also available for families in need of assistance accessing and navigating the special needs and behavioral health system of care.

Capacity Building
Capacity Building Mini Grants | Children's Services Council of Broward County

Infrastructure building support is provided to local child and family serving nonprofit organizations through our annual Capacity Buildings Mini Grants. Through a competitive grant process, local organizations are awarded funding for capacity building projects, professional business coaching and or fundraising support each year.
Primary POC: Adamma DuCille |

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Community Builders| Children's Services Council of Broward County

Improving Lives Through Collective Impact through the Broward County Children’s Strategic Plan

Health & Safety Initiatives
Cribs for Kids | Broward Healthy Start Coalition, Inc.

In 2003, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a report that estimated that the risk of infant suffocation increases 20-fold when infants and adults sleep in the same bed. In 2005, the AAP restated that co-sleeping is a growing concern and recommended that infants not share a bed during sleep.

Capacity Building
CSC Sponsored Trainings | Children's Services Council of Broward County

The CSC offers quality and affordable training workshops for professionals serving children and families in Broward County. Each session is led by instructors that are highly qualified and experienced in their field to provide an optimal learning environment. CEU’s are also offered for many of the completed courses. For a training calendar and to register, please visit our website at

Primary POC: Adamma DuCille |

Health & Safety Initiatives
Drowning Prevention | Florida Department of Health in Broward County

Drowning Prevention is a collaborative community effort driven by the Drowning Prevention Task Force. In 2009, the Children’s Services Council allocated funding to support a full-time coordinator housed at the Broward County Health Department who provides insight and accountability for the implementation of the Drowning Prevention Action Plan.
Task Force members create a culture throughout Broward County that infuses drowning prevention methodologies, practices, and messages throughout the community, directly impacting families with young children by:

The Faces of CSC

The impact Future Prep had on Sarah fomented her desire to give back to her community. Today, she is a Counselor for Memorial’s CSC-funded Youth Force program, helping other young people gain confidence and determine their own path for the future.
This program has touched me and made a difference in my life.
Thanks to the Children’s Services Council and the YMCA of Broward County, students have an opportunity to give a voice to issues that are important to them.