When Juwan was 10 months old, his mother transferred custody to his aunt and uncle, and Juwan has been living with them ever since. During the years that followed, Juwan has had periodic contact with his mother, primarily during holidays.

Juwan’s involvement with the juvenile justice system began when he was 13 years old, due to altercations with peers at his school that resulted in more than 10 in-school and out-of-school suspensions. He was placed on supervised probation, but after incurring multiple violations of probation and new violations of the law over the next two years, Juwan was committed to a juvenile detention facility.

Juwan was referred to Eckerd shortly after his release and began participating in program services. He was one of the first youth referred to Eckerd’s Project Bridge services after the program began in August 2013.

Juwan demonstrated a strong scholastic aptitude and continued to attend school while he was committed. He immediately entered the 10th grade when he was released from the residential program. While he was attending high school, Project Bridge focused on building Juwan’s resume and preparing him to enter the workforce.

By January, Juwan was actively seeking job opportunities within his community, primarily at local fast food restaurants within walking distance of his home. Juwan showed remarkable initiative when he approached the Career Service Coordinator and asked to attend a job fair at LEGOLAND. From a pool of more than 300 applicants, Juwan was one of only a handful of people asked to stay for a second interview. He now has his dream job working at LEGOLAND!