California’s Youth Job Corps Provides Opportunities for Career Advancement and Higher Education

It’s no easy feat for Kaelyn Carter these days as he tackles early morning shifts as a landscaper in the chilly, often rainy climate of the San Francisco Bay Area. This is a far cry from the feelings of stagnation he felt when he first set foot in California less than two years ago.

Upon his release from a three-year prison stint in Virginia, his birthplace, Carter ventured to California with hopes of finding better job prospects.

Initially attempting to work, he encountered further difficulties that resulted in a warrant for his arrest, prompting him to voluntarily surrender.

His surrender marked a turning point in his life as his probation officer linked him with his current employer—a combination of employment opportunity and rehabilitation initiative.

His workplace, Rubicon Landscape Group, located in Richmond, offers a dual program that includes a Reentry Success Center that runs an 18-week vocational training program focusing on horticulture and landscaping for individuals under 30 who have encountered the justice system.

For Carter, being part of Rubicon has provided a sense of community and the means to support himself, allowing him to rebuild his life.

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