Students gain new perspective on ability to learn

By Pam Bryant

Many students’ path to juvenile detention begins with a troubled history in school, followed by truancy or expulsion and a downward spiral of events.

Nonviolent, low-risk offenders have an opportunity to learn behavior modification and continue their education at the Youth Development Center in Aiken. The center is a partnership of Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute (YLI) and the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice and is located at Camp Long.

Research-based math and reading programs at the center are boosting students’ skills by as much as 2.5 grade levels during an average stay of 57 days. Students say the center’s program is “more hands on” and offers “a different type of teaching.”

In addition, one-week curriculum modules were developed by YLI to provide hands-on experiences in aerospace, zoology, electricity, marine science, horticulture, food and nutrition, and mechanical science. These modules align with state educational standards and integrate language arts, math, science and social studies.

“Our job is to help students believe in themselves and discover their potential,” said Cody Greene, center director. “Our hope is that they maintain their momentum for learning and return home with a drive to be successful in school and in life.”


For more information: Cody Greene, 803-292-7590,;