National 2015 Cohort
Carolina Youth Development Center
North Charleston, SC
Chief Executive Officer: Beverly Hardin
Founded in 1790 as the Charleston Orphan House, the Carolina Youth Development Center has provided residential services for youth for more than two centuries.
As the needs of the community changed, the organization expanded its services to provide community-based programs. CYDC’s Leadership for Life (LFL) program, CYDC’s PropelNext Initiative, is an integrated residential and afterschool program for low-income foster care youth ages 15 to 21. The LFL program helps foster youth develop the skills to succeed in school and work, and begin the path to becoming self-sufficient, productive members of society.
CYDC staff determines each young person’s career interests, barriers to employment, academic performance, and readiness to transition from foster care. They work with each youth to develop individualized and comprehensive care plans, which include case management, academic support, life skills instruction, and job readiness. Through partnerships with local companies, colleges, organizations, and individuals, CYDC provides opportunities for part-time jobs, internships and mentoring programs.
In 2014, five youth completed the first year of the pilot Leadership for Life program. Of the five students, one graduated from high school and three advanced to the next grade level.