With deep sadness, December 2021 will be the last month the CEJR will be funded. One 16-year Elizabeth City youth recently told me that because of the paid internships he is no longer in the streets. The CEJR internships provided paid opportunities for teens while our partners help them to obtain proper work documents - social security card, working papers, birth certificate, etc.
CEJR program was unique because we helped youth get a "fresh start"; nearly 100 percent of the CEJR participants dropped out of high school and were on juvenile probation at the time of enrollment. So Boxwood helps them obtain their diplomas via one-on-one tutoring and help them navigate local resources. So far this year, five of them earned their diplomas in under four months; one is already in college with a goal of one day becoming an attorney (of course we are helping him with that goal).
One of the reasons why we started Boxwood is to provide continuous support to our high risk youth population. I wanted Boxwood to still run effective programs even when funding ended due to a change in funding interests.
We will find a way to run the existing and popular career exploration activities such as the music studio, investment club, culinary training, and more. I will personally keep you updated on our champions' progress.
Let us continue to strive on for our champions,