Making a Difference
Our programs foster the personal development and positive human relationships necessary for living a socially responsible and personally satisfying life. In fulfilling our mission we focus on a child’s strengths and assets, and encourage the youth to set achievable goals for themselves, both educationally and in their personal lives. Then we work to help them realize those goals. Four organizational objectives provide core programmatic direction:
- To help youth build strong developmental assets.
- To prevent the onset or recurrence of delinquency.
- To help students attain educational milestones.
- To empower and prepare youth for self-sufficiency.
History of CCYD
The Chesapeake Center for Youth Development (CCYD) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, originally founded in 1974 as the Chesapeake Educational Foundation. Programs and services now focus on remedial education, social development, and workforce skills training. There have been several significant events and successful projects in CCYD’s evolution:
In 1978 the organization moved to South Baltimore’s Brooklyn neighborhood and focused its programs on inner city youth at-risk. CCYD established an alternative school in the former Crisp Memorial Church, renamed the Chesapeake Center.
In 1990, CCYD began a school-based food service job-training program in the diner made famous in Barry Levinson’s film, Diner. The Hollywood Diner is located near Baltimore’s City Hall and provided work internships and jobs to students at the alternative school, other CCYD programs, schools and agencies citywide.
In 1993 the board and staff raised $400,000 to add a new wing to the Chesapeake Center with 3 new classrooms and administrative offices. Subsequent projects restored and upgraded portions of CCYD’s historic building.
Funding from the Family League of Baltimore City allowed the Chesapeake Center to start after-school programs in its surrounding community.
In 2000 The Chesapeake Alternative School received certification from the Maryland State Department of Education.
In 2001 CCYD completed Phase I of the current renovation project, raising $150,000 from its’ Board of Directors, The France Merrick Foundation, the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation and the State Department of Juvenile Services. Renovations to the old gym area converted it into a half-court basketball court and multipurpose area for community events and recreation. That work laid the groundwork for Phase II of the project.
In 2001 CCYD opened the South Baltimore Career Center in the Brooklyn/Curtis Bay area. The Career Center provided GED preparation, adult basic education, job training and internships for young adults who had dropped-out of high school.
At the beginning of 2005 CCYD began a new aspect of the After School Program at Benjamin Franklin Middle School. CCYD won one of only two new City 21st Century three-year grants from the Maryland Department of Education and began a math enrichment project, the Changz Project, which increased math proficiency scores for eighth-graders by enrolling 60 students in entrepreneurial activities and hands-on projects that taught higher-order math skills. There was also a focus on building youth development competencies and involving parents.
In 2006 the Chesapeake Alternative School opened a Building Trades Program that trained nearly a hundred youth in the Construction Trade. These youth worked hard on several different local Community Gardens building them irrigation systems and sheds to house their equipment.
In 2010, through funding by the Family League of Baltimore, CCYD began a three year program aimed at training and placing youth in Baltimore City Foster Care in employment opportunities. During this program CCYD was called “The Rock-Stars” of the initiative.
In 2010 CCYD also began operating an Alternatives Options Program assisting youth attending Baltimore City Public Schools to earn credits leading to graduation at an accelerated rate.
In 2012 this program was expanded upon through a partnership with the Safe and Sound Campaign to serve additional Foster Care youth in a food service training program.
In 2013 CCYD opened the Rediscovering Me Clubhouse, a substance abuse diversion program serving high school age youth living in North Anne Arundel County.
This year CCYD will expand on a program, Docs in the Park, that brings community together by organizing “Field Days” where doctors and healthcare professionals meet with local residents to discuss the importance of “Active Play”.
CCYD will also be opening a Youth Services Bureau this year located in Northern Anne Arundel County.