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SC L.Y.G.H.T. State Coordinator Juliette Martinez Joins Carolina Youth Development Center

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In close collaboration with Dougy Center, Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC) has become home to South Carolina’s statewide L.Y.G.H.T. coordinator, Juliette Martinez. Inspired by youth in foster care, L.Y.G.H.T. (Listening and Led by Youth in Foster Care: Grief, Hope, and Transitions) is a youth-led and youth-driven peer grief support program for youth in foster care who are grieving. 

The L.Y.G.H.T. program was developed by Dr. Monique Mitchell and Dr. Donna Schuurman at Dougy Center: The National Grief Center for Children and Families and is based on The Dougy Center Model. L.Y.G.H.T. is a trauma-informed and grief-informed program that provides a safe space for youth in foster care to listen, talk, and offer support to one another as they cope with missing family, friends, and other important people, as well as other losses in their lives. L.Y.G.H.T. promotes youth empowerment by providing youth with choices about if, when and how they want to participate in the program.

The program has consistently received positive feedback from participants and facilitators. “I like L.Y.G.H.T. because it helps me open up and feel like I’m being heard,” said one participant.

The L.Y.G.H.T. program is funded in part by The Duke Endowment. Based in Charlotte, N.C. The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits.

CYDC is currently offering  L.Y.G.H.T. groups biweekly, led by adult facilitators who have completed the L.Y.G.H.T. Facilitator Training. Teens (ages 12-16) and young adults (ages 17-23) from the community who are involved in the foster care system are invited to participate.

“It’s an honor to provide a space where youth feel safe enough to speak on their life experiences of being in foster care. The most rewarding part of being a facilitator is watching the youth connect with each other and identifying topics they want to share,”  said Juliette Martinez, South Carolina L.Y.G.H.T. State Coordinator. “My goal is to get the word out about this program to the Charleston community to invite teens and young adults ages 12 to 23 to attend the program here on our main campus.”

For more information or to join the group, contact Juliette Martinez at 803.403.6940 or by email at lyght@dougy.org.
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