John’s Story

NOTE: As of Feb. 29, 2024, Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC) has rebranded to Landmarks for Families. Our nonprofit, community programs and residential services remain committed to cultivating thriving youth and families in this new chapter.

John came to CYDC in 2008 after spending most of his early years in and out of foster homes. John soon became involved in in the career exploration and readiness classes through our Bakker Career Center. He also started attending the Toastmaster public speaking workshops.

Using skills he developed during interviewing workshops and practice sessions at the Bakker Center, John pursued a position at Queen Anne’s Revenge.

“Ms. Lorraine gave me a full tour and then we sat down and talked about the requirements for being an employee there. Ms. Lorraine asked me questions about my hobbies, skills, and future goals,” he said of the interview.

And he got the job!

John working on the McAlister Development projectJohn left our care for a foster home in 2011. Then, shortly after graduating from West Ashley High School, John returned to CYDC — this time as an employee. John worked on a research project for McAlister Development Company.

“Being back at CYDC as a staff member feels good, but it’s kind of strange. It’s a big transition for me, from client to staff. I mean, some of the current residents were here when I lived on campus myself. I like the work though, and learning these new things, and being back at CYDC,” John said of his work with the McAlister research project.

In July of this year, John left Charleston for Army basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. After completing basic training on December 6, John at Army basic trainingJohn is now a military police officer at Fort Bragg near Fayetteville, North Carolina. John’s future goals include reaching the rank of sergeant and completing college while he is in the service.

Your donations support the training we provide in the Bakker Center for young people just like John — training that prepares them to enter the work force and fulfill their educational and career goals. With your support, we can help young people in our care, as well as other youth in foster care living here in the Lowcountry, to become healthy, well-adjusted adults who are contributing members of society.

We thank you for your ongoing support!

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CYDC is now Landmarks for Families!

For more than 230 years, we have guided neighbors toward stronger, hopeful futures and now we’re evolving too. We’re grateful to enter this new chapter with you. Welcome to Landmarks for Families!