Ossining Children’s Center Alum Gives Back to His “Home-Away-from-Home”

James Morgan with Angie Liiga, his first caretaker when he came to OCC as a three-month-old.

James Morgan first came to Ossining Children’s Center as a smiling, curious three-month-old. Over twelve years James played, learned and grew as he made his way from the baby room, to the toddler room, all the way through OCC’s after-school enrichment program. Now as James approaches his eighteenth birthday, he is giving back to his first “home-away-from-home.”

When James was deciding on his final project to become an Eagle Scout, the highest honor in Boy Scouts, he wanted to choose a project he was passionate about, one that was meaningful to both him and to other children just like him in the Ossining community. He fondly remembered his time at OCC, building elaborate structures in the sandbox or riding small carts down the hill in the playground. One of his favorite afternoons was spent learning about air resistance, as his class tossed toy plastic alien figures tied to parachutes over the railing at the top of the stairs. He remembered how kind the staff was and how Juan, his teacher, made him feel appreciated and listened too.

James approached OCC and they suggested building a large picnic table so children would have a comfortable place to eat lunch and snacks or make an art project. James immediately made all his measurements, drew up a blueprint and came up with a plan. Over the next several weeks, James led nine fellow scouts in constructing a beautiful bright blue table to sit in OCC’s playground for years to come. James and his troop have built a total of three tables through scout service projects, all currently scattered throughout OCC’s playground and garden. The tables have become essential to OCC’s outdoor programming, used on a daily basis by OCC’s children.

James and the Bench He Built

James is excited for college in September, hoping to study history or social science.  All of his former teachers at OCC are confident that the leadership skills he exhibited as a student and as a scout will serve him well as he starts this exciting next chapter.

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