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Empowering Foster Care Youth through Career Readiness 

Empowering Foster Care Youth through Career Readiness

CYDC is partnering with the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice to teach practical skills and provide real-world work experience to our youth as part of the DJJ’s Job Readiness Training grant program.

Clover Springs3
A CYDC teen helping harness one of the horses with the guidance of staff at Clover Springs Farm, one of the JRT program internship sites.

Our young people learn a variety of important life skills from problem-solving, job interview and interpersonal skills to workplace etiquette and self-advocacy.

Fifteen CYDC teens are currently enrolled in the 10-week spring JRT program, working at seven different job sites including The Charleston River Dogs, Clover Springs Farm, Darby Development, Destiny Community Café, Lowcountry Maritime Society, Mr K’s Used Books, Music and More, and Royal Missionary Baptist Church. They are paid minimum wage in exchange for their labor.

A prerequisite of the JRT program is to complete an application, so those who sign up are serious and intent on capitalizing on the opportunity. Participating youth take the initiative of calling or emailing their employer to discuss availability and coordinate their work schedules.

The spring session is 55 hours, in which participants take 15 hours of classroom training and log 40 internship hours with a local employer. Summer’s program is condensed into five weeks but is more intensive, featuring 30 classroom hours and 80 internship hours on site experience.

If you are an employer interested in becoming a JRT community partner for the summer internship program, contact Bret Perryman at bperryman@cydc.org or 843-266-5271.