Hall of Fame

Aaron’s Story

Program Attended + Years Attended: Ged program & The diner program


What Do You Remember Most?: The family atmosphere. And kindness of the staff.


I’m married, a proud homeowner, and I have been a GM at McDonald’s in PA running a 2.5m grossing store for the past year. I am the proud father of 7 children. I’m also a recent graduate of Hamburger University in Oak Brook, Illinois.


Anthony’s Story

(The story is reprinted here basically unedited and  just the way it was received. It was typed out on a mobile phone because that was the only device Anthony had available at the time.)


Hi my name is Anthony Tayler. I am 22. I have 4 kids, 2 boys 2 girls. I am a full time employee at an environmental service company.  I am now a home owner I also own my car and motorcycle all thanks to mr josh and the CCYD family I first found CCYD from my old middle school teacher that new a little about my life at 12 years old I was kicked out of the house because I tried to fight my mother’s boyfriend who was beating her up so she kicked me out and told me to never come back, I stayed with a lot of different friends


I was selling drugs in order to get money to feed myself because I was not old enough to get a job when I was 13 I moved back in to a one bedroom apartment with my mother and brothers and sisters my mother got a boyfriend and left me and my brothers and sisters she moved into a motel with her boyfriend they eventually got their self an apartment for just them at the age of 13 I was the oldest I was taking care of my brothers and sisters alone by myself and the only way I had to get money was to sell drugs marijuana and crack I was not old enough to get a job so I didn’t know what else to do to feed my family


My mother rarely came around she Brought food sometimes but she would never get out the truck sometimes we wouldn’t see her for weeks I had to dress my brothers and sisters I had to make sure they get a bath and I had to feed them every day when I was 14 I put in application at McDonald’s and started working but I was still selling drugs because the McDonald’s check just was not enough to support my family I hung out with a lot of gang members that try to get me to join but I never joined because I am my own man and none of them had anything going for their self


This went on for years taking care of my brothers and sisters at the age of 15 I had a baby on the way when that baby came I try my best to take care of her but my girlfriend’s parents try to take me to court for a custody hearing but that was later closed and dismissed because the receipts I had from the stuff I bought and me having a job showed I was trying so now I was 15 years old with my own daughter plus taking care of my brothers and sisters and me being the oldest was hard on me I would call my mother’s phone all the time but she would never answered it got so bad where we will only see her around 2 to 3 times a month.


Money started getting scarce so I bought a gun from one of my friends and I start robbing people but only drug dealers no stores or innocent people even though Robin is bad period I knew no other way to survive I got into multiple shootouts thank God no one was ever hurt I ran from the police all the time and I got beat up by the police multiple times as a juvenile at the age of 16 I had another daughter life was getting even rougher as I knew it


I started selling large amount of drugs at the age of 16 I finally met my real father I got my license and he bought me a car at the age of 16 I was still taking care of my brothers and sisters my mother moved back in for a couple of months until I found out her boyfriend was a sex offender that’s when I told him he has to go but my mother went with him she got another apartment with her boyfriend so now instead of me taking care of 2 kids now I have seven kids again I couldn’t really go to school because sometimes I didn’t have nobody to watch the kids my youngest brother was around one or two years old at the time one of my old school teachers called my phone she got my number from my sister and told me to come see her I always got good grades and her class she says she sees potential in me that’s when she let me know about the CCYD program


I went there so that they can help me get back into school and get my grades up it worked I went back to school but my home situation stayed the same I had to still take care of my brothers and sisters so I could rarely go to school so I dropped out still selling drugs and working part-time at McDonald’s was my life from there I had so many goals that I wanted to achieve but it was hard having to take Care of the children and watch over my back


At the age of 18 my girlfriend and I broke up around that time my mother got herself together and broke up with her boyfriend and moved back into another house we all moved with her I started talking to the girl across the street I moved in with her family after three months but the funny thing is my mother called me any time the kids where bad. My new girlfriend father was in jail he smoke crack and sniffed dope financially they were not stable so the money that I was making I helped by buying food and give a little extra money for bills when her father got out of jail he started doing drugs again her father’s brother and friends asked him why was I staying with them not knowing that I was paying bills and supporting them with food eventually I think it got to him he talked to the mother and had me put out


When I left my girlfriend was pregnant Me and her where going through a rough relationship her friends and family talked her into getting a abortion but it was her decision plus I had three children already but at the end she got it on August 13, 2010 which was on Friday the 13th a week later her mother passed away mysteriously later on found out that it was a blood disease that she did not know about after that I moved back in and help her support her brothers and sisters because her father was doing drugs really heavy and she was in school and she was only 17 two weeks after the mother died her father brought another lady into the house to stay for about a week or two and then he moved to Virginia with her leaving the kids behind with me and my girlfriend


I struggle to feed them I got a little bit of help from my family bringing food to support them but it was getting really really hard plus we were being evicted we were looking after her sister and 2 brothers that were younger it felt like a repeat of my life all over again just in someone else’s shoes and I’m walking with them we eventually moved in with my mother her brothers and sisters stayed there for about two days. Mj the oldest boy moved with his uncle her Little brother went with her grandparents and her godmother took the daughter the little sister then when things just started getting together my mother

found another boyfriend and moved out again and left me and my girlfriend to take care of the children again my girlfriend did not believe me the stories that I told her before but that she seen for herself what I was talking about it was a rough time for both of us and especially for her just losing her mother at the age of 17 with not too many people to help her we took care of my brothers and sisters together


Then one day I was walking down the street and I seen Mr. Josh and miss Shanell they stop me and asked me what have I been doing with myself I told them that I had three children and I was just trying to make it that’s when Mr. Josh told me about the workforce program and asked me was I interested I replied yes I came back a week later and that’s when he set me up with the environmental service company.  i’ve been unemployed for almost a year from McDonald’s so all I was doing was hustling but once I started working through CCYD I seen a brighter picture and all the benefits that I saw showed me a future that was right for me and my family and could change my life forever if I work hard enough so that’s when I stopped selling drugs it was hard financially because I had to support my three children plus my now seven brothers and sisters but I was in a safer place and I didn’t have to watch behind my back.


About six months later my mother move back into the home I was so relieved so me and my girlfriend we started looking at a place to call our own  my pay checks from working I brought home about 550 every two weeks after taxes I rented a house from my aunts for 400 a month and budgeted my other bills and I also bought a car so I could get back and forth to work as a temp now that I was stable things started getting good my girlfriend was pregnant again and she said she’s keeping it this time I went to work every day and I worked hard to prove myself as a good worker then my hard work finally paid off I was hired into a full-time employee I also had health benefits and more my daughters lived with their mother and I got them on weekends until their mothers brother who is the girls uncle was molesting them she said that my daughters was lying once she said that I immediately filed for custody and I won full custody of both of my daughters.


At that point the house that we were living in was too small because now I have two sons and two daughters living with me at that point I started thinking about bettering my life some more and that’s when I learned about credit and how to establish it I established myself a credit score and then I went to the home buying class  and learned about the opportunity and that’s when I purchased my first home at the age of 22 so now I am 22 years old I have four kids that live with me and I own my own home and now I’m working on trying to start a business all thanks to CCYD and their programs for turning me around and showing me a bright future

Every day I wake up I am thankful and I still wonder where I would be at without the CCYD program that keeps me motivated knowing where I’m at now I still think I could either be in jail or dead but jail is not a option because I’m on the right track and that’s where I am going to stay that’s why I would like to think the CCYD program for changing my life around and showing me a bright future and I think everyone should have this opportunity especially those with no real control over their life or Those just too blind to see the success that they can achieve it will open there eyes. Thanks

The Chesapeake Center for Youth Development

301 East Patapsco Avenue
Baltimore Maryland 21225

Tel: 410-355-4698 • Fax: 410-354-8160