C.I.T.Y Program Helps WOODSKids

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

When asked where he thought he’d be had he not come to the Community Intensive Treatment for Youth program, Corey Raybon answered, “Probably dead."

David Grimsaley, another C.I.T.Y Program Student, said, "I probably would have been in jail two or three times because I was in the streets all day."

Drew Jones, another program student responded, "I'd probably be in jail."

There's one thing these three young men have in common. Without the Community Intensive Treatment for Youth program, better known as city program here in Dothan, their lives probably would have been much different.

Andrea Evans, the C.I.T.Y Program Teacher, says, "A lot of times they've been so discouraged in the classroom because they've not felt successful that they don't even want to, they don't want to try."

The city program is a state-funded program, helping teens who've had run-ins with the law get back on the right track.

The program has been around for 12 years, providing guidance for people like David Grimsaley and Corey Raybon to obtain their GED.

Grimsaley recalls, "When I was in school, I didn't like school, and I was skipping school. I would come to school for half of the day and then leave."

Raybon says, "At school, I would just steal the teachers’ things, like answers to tests and stuff from the cafeteria, food and everything. Outside of school, I would go to stores and steal hats, shirts, and shoes."

Because of their behavior, Grimsaley and Raybon were ordered to enroll in the city program by their probation officers.

And while, they were against the idea in the beginning, their attitudes and grades began to improve.

17-year-old Drew Jones is living proof the program can work. He is enrolled at Wallace Community College, hoping one day to become a welder.

Jones says, "It’s a good experience, and I really like college. I like getting up every day and going. Sometimes on the weekends I wish I could go."

While the program is aimed to benefit the students, teachers say they get something out the experience as well.

Shon Holton, a C.I.T.Y Program Counselor, says, "I've had them come back married and with families. I'm thinking “Oh, my God,” so it’s worth it. It really is."

A great thing about this program is the school pays for these kids to take their GED and does everything in their power to allow them to succeed.

Both Grimsaley and Raybon are expected to take their GED tests before the end of the year, so we wish them the very best of luck.

Although the school was part of the state funding loss this year, losing $1.7 million, school officials say they have yet to cut any staff because of the cutbacks.


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