ATTN:  ALUMNI        

…You have spread your wings and moved on, you have graduated, you have found employment and moved on with your lives.  We aplaud you and ask that you stay in touch.  Its all of you who have made CTW/YACC into what it is today.  You have paved the path for other young adults to participate.

         Former graduates – we would like to hear from you if you formerly worked at CTW.  We’d like to know what your are doing now.  Alumni can qualify for $25 gift card if they submit their  a pictures and update of themselves, $50 for a story regarding their current employment (2-3 paragraphs) about their experience at CTW or just current information about their lives and family.  If their story is chosen for publication in printed matter then you could qualify for a $75 gift card.



Shawn Hunter, former Crew Chief – St. Johns and Putnam Counties

Shawn graduated our program in November of 2015 after having successfully completing his Advanced Maintenance of Traffic certification and several hundred hours of on the job training in our FTOT’s Youth Work Experience Program.  Shawn has a background and numerous firefighter certifications and was working toward renewing them and wanted to attend fire college. Shawn had been waiting for a contract to open up to become a supervisor but was able to manifest an excellent opportunity for himself with a local produce company in his home town. We are proud of what Shawn has accomplished and wish him the best of luck in his new endeavor!


Christopher Shannon, former Crew Chief – Palm Beach County

Chris Shannon successfully completed two program terms with CTW after obtaining certifications in IMOT, a GED.   Through a partnership with his new employer, a landscape company in West Palm Beach; he obtained a job and the employer was paid under our OJT funding half his wages for the first 6 weeks of employment.  Its a nice incentive program for employers to hire our graduates and receive funding during their training.  He has since been promoted to a Supervisor with 2 rate increases, way to go; Chris!


Freddie McGowan, former Crew Chief – Broward County

Freddie graduated the program with excellent reference and a very professional resume packet.  He was trained in chain link fence by the ever popular Douglas Morris, our former supervisor and mentor to these young adults.  Freddie is an expert chain link fence installer.  We highly recommend him for employment and know he will be successful at whatever he pursues.


Kevin Byers, former Supervisor – St. Johns & Putnam Counties

Over the years, Kevin worked hard and always met his production quota and maintained excellent relations with our partner organizations.  He trained and mentored several CIT’s including Maurice, Ronte, Shawn, Matt, Lelsie, Cody, Corey to name a few many of which have been promoted to Crew Chief or Supervisory position.  Kevin has a background as a volunteer fire fighter.  Kevin was instrumental at starting up a new crew and contract repairing and replacing mitered end sections (culverts) out of the Ocala maintenance office before leaving to take a position with another for profit roadside maintenance company on a large FDOT contractor.


Kenneth Rusak, former Crew In Training

Kenny would be 23 today passed away unexpectedly a couple of years ago as a victim of gang violence.  He was employed with CTW as a CIT and was a hard worker.  He left his girlfriend, Cookie and now has a son Kenny Jr.  Kenny grew up in the Florida Keys and went to school with Susan’s son.   Steve coached Kenny in baseball and soccer so it was an easy fit when he asked to be employed and for a second chance.   He was the son of our long time devoted Board Member, Laura.  He was always full of energy and vim and vigor!  He is sorely missed by his family as well as those at CTW who knew him.  RIP, Kenny!


Rico Ferguson – former CIT – Crew In Training

Rico graduated the CIT program successfully completing his on the job training program in October of 2015 and is currently seeking and available for work.  He has several hundred hours of on the job training certification with our FDOT’s YWEP vegetation crew in West Palm Beach.


DeSoto National Forest in Wiggins, Mississippi – YCC Crew Forestry

Hunter, James, Nathan, and Brett, Crew and Zach Crew Leader successfully completed and graduated from our summer Youth Conservation Corps forestry operations program at DeSoto National Forest in Wiggins, Mississippi.  The crew and crew leaders all earned AmeriCorps educational awards.  Ashley has been transferred to Jacksonville to head up the Get Outdoors Initiative with the YMCA.


Alexander Lopez (left), former Supervisor

Heribito Torres (right) , Crew Chief

District 1 – Sebring/Highlands County

Alex Lopez was promoted from Crew Chief to Supervisor as he showed great promise in leadership and production.  He obtained his AMOT certificaiton. He graduated the program with excellent references and obtained a full time position with a cane sugar company near his home town in south central Florida.

Heribito Torres was promoted from CIT/Crew to Crew Chief and logged in several hundred hours of on the job training before graduating.


Stephen Young, Supervisor – Palm Beach County

Stephen was promoted to Supervisor by Field Area Manager Dean Ison who trained and mentored Stephen as a CIT/Crew In Training aka corps member.  Stephen joined CTW in 2009 after turning his life around as an ex offender.   He’s been able to train and mentor many CIT’s who have come through the Palm Beach county crew in our youth work experience program by knowing what it takes to get the job done. His crew has achieved over 97% Field Performance ratings by FDOT for five (5) consecutive years.  He maintains excellent production levels on his crew of four CIT’s and a crew chief.  He and the crew are well respected by FDOT.


Leslie McDonald, Supervisor – St. John, Putnam & Clay counties

Leslie graduated CTW’s youth work experience program and got a full time job.  After a couple of years, he returned to CTW/YACC to assist the supervisor as Crew Chief and now in his new role as Supervisor to supervise, mentor and train the crew working out of the St. Augustine maintenance office.  He has done an excellent job taking over, maintaining relationships with the inspectors and CTWs Field Area Manager.  He’s currently mentoring and training a crew of four.

Matt Turner, Supervisor – Marion County

Matt graduated CTW’s CIT (Crew In Training) program and returned to head up the mitered ends replace and repair contract out of the Ocala maintenance office.  He’s done a fine job to coordinate the efforts and train a crew of four.

Rachel Dix-Bishop, Program Coordinator

Rachel joined CTW and with her education at FSU focusing in media and communications, she assisted us to streamline several campaigns.  She was responsible for social media posts, recruitment campaign, website edits and an outreach campaign for our coastal restoration program.  Rachel moved on to intern at other larger media organizations and graduates from FSU in May.


Leah McPherson, Administrative Assistant

Leah is a liaison between management in our home office near Tallahassee and our Field Supervisors and coordinates all the administrative functions.

Other alumni include – Maurice Purifoy, Ronte Beasley, John Davis, Terrance Tarpley, Anthony Warner, Charles Duncan, Terrance King, Rico Ferguson, Jason Jones